Malaysian central bank cuts 2019 economic growth forecast to 4.3-4.8%

Malaysian central bank cuts 2019 economic growth forecast to 4.3-4.8%

Malaysia Petronas Twin Towers Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia's iconic landmark Petronas Twin Towers (centre) domninates the skyline of Kuala Lumpur on June 26, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's central bank on Wednesday (Mar 27) lowered its economic growth expectation for this year and forecast a significant drop in export expansion due to a slowdown in the global economy and the US-China trade war.

The economy is expected to grow 4.3 to 4.8 per cent this year, Bank Negara Malaysia said in its annual report. In November, the central bank and the government had forecast 4.9 per cent growth for 2019.

Malaysia reported 4.7 per cent growth for last year.

The Southeast Asian nation's exports are expected to rise 3.4 per cent in 2019, just half of last year's 6.8 per cent increase, the central bank said, adding that the impact of trade tensions and moderating demand from major economies will be significant.

In November, the government projected export growth of 3.9 per cent this year.

Inflation is expected to average between 0.7 per cent and 1.7 per cent this year, compared with 1 per cent in 2018.

The central bank also said monetary policy for the year would be focused on supporting steady economic growth amid relatively low inflation.

Source: Reuters/hs

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