IMF UPGRADES MALAYSIA’S ECONOMIC GROWTH RATE TO 4.8 PCT

KUALA LUMPUR– The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has upgraded Malaysia’s economic growth rate for 2017 to 4.8 per cent from 4.5 per cent as projected in the Annual Consultation Report on Malaysia released in May this year.

Its Economic Counsellor and Director of Research Department, Dr Maurice Obstfeld, said the revision was due to favourable economic data and steady hands in monetary policy.

“We have upgraded Malaysia’s growth outlook for 2017 as we have seen successful efforts to maintain its sustainability from downward path. We are optimistic here in Malaysia,” he said at a media conference during the release of IMF’s Updated World Economic Outlook here.

Meanwhile, he said, IMF also maintained its global growth estimate at 3.5 per cent in 2017 and 3.6 per cent in 2018, masking somewhat different contributions at the country level.

The IMF downgraded the growth forecast for the US to 2.1 per cent in 2017 from 2.3 per cent and 2.1 per cent in 2018 from 2.5 per cent as reflected in part of the weak growth outturn in the first quarter of 2017.

“The US fiscal policies look less likely to be less expansionary in near term,” said Obstfeld.

He said the impact of ‘Britain exit’ to the UK remained unclear and revised downward the country’s growth for 2017 on weaker activity in the first quarter.

China’s growth was expected to remain at 6.7 per cent in 2017, same as in 2016, reflecting the stronger than expected outturn in this year’s first quarter underpinned by previous policy easing and supply-side reforms, he said.

The Chinese authority is cognisant of rapid credit growth problems and underperforming loans and are looking to take measures to tackle the issues, he said.

Meanwhile, he said, wage growth remained sluggish as increasing tensions pushed some countries towards more anti-global policies, while financial regulations put in place since the 2008 financial crisis could erode stability.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK