MO,8/1/2018, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy will continue to perform strongly following solid trade numbers in November, AmBank Research said. The firm said domestic economy is expected to grow around 5.5 per cent this year, supported by domestic activities and export. “Both our exports and imports continued to perform favourably with November’s exports up for the 12th consecutive month at double digits by 20.4 per cent year-on-year while imports gained 21.2 per cent yoy, bringing the November’s trade balance at RM9.9 billion.
“We remain upbeat on the economic performance in part due to strong imports and capital (up 12.2 per cent yoy) and intermediate goods (+13.8 per cent yoy) which act as an injection to the overall economic activity. Besides, we foresee exports will continue to aid the overall economic activity,” AmBank Research said in a report today. The firm said its preliminary estimates showed the fourth quarter 2017 gross domestic product (GDP) of around 6.0 per cent with its full-year forecast at 5.9 per cent.
It expects exports to grow by 21 per cent yoy. AmBank Research said exports of electrical and electronics had continued to expand strongly by 21.0 per cent yoy in November from 16.9 per cent yoy in October. “E&E segment is envisaged to perform robustly, benefitting from the cyclical growth underpinned by a healthy external demand.” Exports were also being supported by chemical & chemical products (+20.2 per cent yoy), and manufacture of metals (20.8 per cent yoy) while petroleum products grew 1.2 per cent yoy.
Total export volume grew strongly by 9.7 per cent yoy in November. On the ringgit performance this year, AmBank Research said the local note is projected at 4.00 to 4.02 against US dollar for the full-year average. “We expect the US dollar/ringgit to remain on a strong note with our end-period projection at 3.95 which is our base case and best case is at 3.76,” it added.