KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — Malaysia’s economic growth this year is expected to perform better than the World Bank’s forecast, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong said.
“Last year, Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth was forecast at 5.5 per cent, 5.6 per cent and 5.7 per cent, but we had exceeded it,” he told reporters after visiting MPH Bookstore at Mid Valley Megamall here, in conjunction with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation, today.
The World Bank, in its East Asia Pacific Economic Update released today, said it expects Malaysia’s GDP growth this year to grow at a slower pace of 4.7 per cent before rebounding to five per cent next year.
The report also noted that growth in several countries, including that of Malaysia, would be held back by domestic policy tightening and weak commodity prices.
“Generally, we believe that that the figure tabulated by the World Bank is within the range of what we had expected this year, a growth of between 4.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent,” Chua said.
It is still too early to tell on the GST impact on Malaysia’s growth in the first quarter as it also depends on other factors, including oil prices and export volume, he said, adding that however, the impact would be visualised in the second quarter.
Chua said private consumption is expected to ease as consumers are still confused over GST zero-rated items.
On reading materials, he said books, e-books and newspapers were exempted from the GST. — Bernama