Malaysia GDP to expand 5.5% in 2018, says AmBank Group Research

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 28): AmBank Group Research expects Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) to expand around 5.5% in 2018 largely from domestic activities with exports complementing.

In his Thematic/Strategy report Nov 27, AmBank group chief economist and head of research Anthony Dass said the better-than-expected growth in 2017, which he projects would be around 5.9%, is being supported by strong exports and domestic activities.

Going forward, Dass said the challenge will likely come from external factors.

He said a sharp slowdown in China due to its huge debt to GDP and resulting in a financial crisis will have a knock-on effect in this region including Malaysia given its significant trade relationship.

Besides, he said the strong exposure to the US and a slowdown is poised to put some pressure on the Malaysian growth print.

“Interestingly, we noticed the economy tends to follow a 10-year cycle.

“After the trough in 1999 following the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis, the next trough was in 2009 from the impact of the global financial crisis.

“From our assessment, we expect the next slowdown will likely be in 1Q2019 with a probability reading of around 10%,” said Dass.