World Bank: Malaysia GDP to grow 4.7% in 2019, 4.6% in 2020

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KUALA LIMPUR (Oct 4): Malaysia is expected to buck the trend while countries in the region continue to see resilient growth, according to the World Bank.

"Growth among the large Asean countries is expected to remain solid in 2018 and beyond. Malaysia would be the one exception to this pattern, with slower growth expected in 2018 as well as into 2019 and 2020," said Sudhir Shetty, chief economist of the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank, in a regional conference video call here today.

The World Bank slashed its forecast on Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year to 4.9%, from its earlier forecast of 5.4% in July.

Shetty said the revision was made mainly after taking into account the cancellation of major infrastructure projects, which translates into lower public investment, besides easing export growth.

However, he added that the slower pace of growth is a worthwhile trade-off in favour of stability going forward.

"This is not a time to prop up growth in the short term. It is time to consolidate on the fiscal side, to ensure that these fiscal buffers are built up in case (external) shocks are larger than anticipated," he added.

The World Bank, which today released its latest economic report on the region entitled Navigating Uncertainty, projects Malaysia's economy to expand by 4.7% in 2019, and 4.6% in 2020.