Malaysia is likely to enjoy a GDP growth of 4.5 percent this year against an estimated growth of 4.2 percent projected for 2016, according to forecasts by the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER). This figure, however, is a downward revision from a previous forecast of between 4.5 and 5.5 percent.
The projection is based on the country’s healthy trade balance in the third quarter of 2016, amounting to RM6.6 billion, RM9.8 billion and RM9 billion for the last three months respectively. The economy will see better performance in 2017 if trade momentum continues.
A report from Malaysian investment bank Hong Leong Finance supports this view, which states that “the outlook remains bright if not brighter in 2017 for the wood-based manufacturers as earnings will be underpinned mainly by continued weakness in the ringgit.”