KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy recorded a spectacular performance in the last quarter of 2012, growing 6.4%.
This is the highest quarterly growth since two and a half years ago and was buoyed by robust manufacturing and construction sectors.
It supported the overall economic growth for 2012 that expanded to 5.6% compared to 5.1% in 2011.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that the growth of the fourth quarter would accelerate to 5.5% from 5.2% in the previous three-month period, and forecast a full-year growth at 5.3%.
All sectors registered positive growth with the services, manufacturing and construction sectors continuing to be the key drivers in the supply side.
Many experts believed that the Economic Transformation Programme, with its multi-billion projects, had to a great extent supported the growth in the construction sector that carried spill-over effects onto other sectors.
Bank Negara Malaysia said total investment remained robust and was the main driver of growth during the quarter.
“The growth of private consumption continued to remain strong although the pace of increase moderated.
“The growth during the quarter also benefited from a significantly lower negative contribution from net exports.
“On the supply side, most economic sectors recorded improvements in growth during the quarter,” it said in a statement yesterday.
The main drivers of the economy in the fourth quarter included domestic demand that continued to expand by 7.5%.
Private sector investment advanced by 20.2% supported by capital spending in the domestic-oriented manufacturing and consumer-related services sub-sectors, namely telecommunications, real estate and aviation and the on-going implementation of projects in the oil and gas sector.
Investment was also supported by capacity expansion in the primary-related manufacturing cluster and capital spending in new growth areas such as medical and communications equipment.
Public investment expanded by 11.1%, driven by capital spending by public enterprises in the transportation, utilities, oil and gas and communications sectors.
Bank Negara said the headline inflation rate, as measured by the annual change in the Consumer Price Index, continued to moderate to 1.3% in the fourth quarter.
Going forward, Bank Negara said there were emerging signs of improvements in the global economy where the latest economic indicators also suggested further stabilisation in growth performance in Asia.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak noted that the growth was among the highest in the world and the highest in this region.
“This success is possible only because of the peace and stability that we have in the country now,” he stressed.
Source by: The Star