KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 ― Malaysia's balance of payments recorded a higher surplus of RM15 billion in the current account for the first quarter of 2018 (Q12018) compared with RM13.9 billion recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017, the Statistics Department said.
In a statement, it said the better performance was attributed to the goods account. In this quarter, exports of goods was valued at RM237.6 billion, a growth of 5.8 per cent,on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis.
The main products that contributed to the increase were electrical and electronic products which had the highest share in total exports at 37.1 per cent, rising 1.8 per cent to RM88.1 billion followed by crude petroleum which expanded by 8.0 per cent to RM8.5 billion.
Imports decreased 0.8 per cent to RM204.3 billion on a y-o-y basis, compared with 14.4 per cent growth seen in the preceding quarter. Consumption goods recorded an increase while intermediate and capital goods decreased.
The department said the financial account recorded a net inflow of RM15.2 billion (Q4 2017: net inflow RM6.0 billion).
For the current account, the higher surplus was largely supported by an increase in the goods account of RM35.7 billion (Q4 2017: surplus RM34.1 billion) and lower deficit in services account of RM5.8 billion (Q4 2017: deficit RM7.0 billion).
Meanwhile, the financial account recorded a net inflow of RM15.2 billion (Q4 2017: net inflow RM6.0 billion), due to a higher net inflow of direct investments at RM10.7 billion (Q4 2017: net inflow RM5.3 billion) and other investments at RM6.4 billion (Q4 2017: net outflow RM9.5 billion).
Direct investments abroad registered a turnaround to net outflow of RM1.3 billion in Q1 2018 against a net inflow of RM1.9 billion registered in the last quarter.
Foreign direct investments in Malaysia recorded a higher net inflow of RM12.0 billion (Q4 2017: net inflow RM3.4 billion). ― Bernama