Malaysia needs some measures if Singapore economy worsens, says economist

A view of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur April 30, 2019. Malaysia’s GDP is expected to grow by 4.7 per cent this year and 4.8 per cent in 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
A view of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur April 30, 2019. Malaysia’s GDP is expected to grow by 4.7 per cent this year and 4.8 per cent in 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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SINGAPORE, Oct 23 — Malaysia will have to put some measures to counter the effects of an economic slowdown if Singapore’s economy which has been a leading indicator suggested that it is imminent, Sunway University Business School economist Prof Yeah Kim Leng said.

“We take Singapore economy as a leading indicator of the health of the regional as well as the global economy,” he told Bernama after speaking at Regional Economic Studies Programme Seminar organised by the ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute here today.

Yeah who spoke on “Malaysia’s Budget 2020 and its Tough Balancing Act: An Economist Perspective”, was asked whether Singapore slower economic growth would somewhat affect its northern neighbour Malaysia.

Singapore has downgraded its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast for 2019 to “0.0 to 1.0 per cent”, with growth expected to come in at around the mid-point of the forecast range.

The republic’s economy grew marginally by 0.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the second quarter, moderating from the 1.1 per cent growth in the previous quarter.

However, Yeah noted that looking at the current economic condition, Malaysia does see sustained consumer spending and benefit slightly from a trade diversion.

“We have seen some increased in investment from China and India that has helped to offset some of the concerns from the global economic slowdown and the effect from US-China trade war,” he said.

Malaysia’s GDP is expected to grow by 4.7 per cent this year and 4.8 per cent in 2020.

On whether Malaysia needs a stimulus package if the global economy worsens, Yeah said: “If only we face a downturn.”

“We will need a stimulus package to offset the likely impact on our export-oriented industries that will have a multiplier effect on the domestic economy.”

Yeah noted that the prospect of the downturn will especially trigger by global recession or worsening performance of a global economy dipping to below 2.0 per cent. — Bernama

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