Here are highlights of the 2014/2015 Economic Report issued by the Finance Ministry in conjunction with the tabling of Budget 2015 today by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also Finance Minister.
* Malaysia’s economic growth momentum in 2015 is expected to remain resilient and register growth of between 5% and 6%.
* Malaysia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a steady annual average rate of 5.8% since the implementation of the Economic Transformation Programme.
* The Malaysian household income for this year is showing a positive pattern in line with the strong economic performance.
* Malaysia maintained its dominance in the global sukuk market as it garnered 63% of the global sukuk issuance in the first half of the year.
* Malaysia’s monetary policy remains accomodative, focus on supporting sustainable growth of the economy in an environment of price stability.
* Malaysia’s manufacturing sector is expected to record better performance for 2014, with growth of 6.4% vis-a-vis 3.5% in 2013, buoyed by favourable domestic economic activity and recovery in the external sector.
* Malaysia continues to be a significant player in the Islamic fund management industry, accounting for approximately 25% of Islamic assets under management globally as at Jun 17, 2014.
* The government will continue to focus its efforts on the development of a progressive, sustainable and inclusive financial sector.
* Total household debt increased at the slowest pace since 2010 by 9.9% to RM904.3 billion as at June 2014 or 86.7% of nominal GDP.
* The Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility, an initiative under the Asian Bond Markets Initiatives framework, is looking to strengthen nascent local bond markets and develop new bond markets.
* Governments and multilateral development banks need to seek innovative ways to finance infrastructure-based projects in partnership with private entities to ensure a sustainable flows of funds to meet the demand for financing.
* The global shale gas and oil development can set a new order in oil trade worldwide in the near future.
* The finance and insurance sub-sector is expected to sustain growth at 1.8% in 2014 after having moderated to 1.5% in the first half of the year.
* The value added of the mining sector is anticipated to remain steady at 0.7% this year (2013: 0.7%) on higher output of crude oil (including condensates) and natural gas during the second half of the year.
* The government will intensify efforts to increase women’s participation in the labour force including putting them in higher-level posts in the private sector.
* Malaysian exporters must actively embrace higher value-added activities to remain relevant and competitive in a dynamic global trading environment.
* Malaysian companies will be able to tap huge markets through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership as it offers tremendous opportunities for them.
* The global economy is expected to register a stronger growth of 3.9% in 2015 driven by growth in world trade and increase in investment flows at 12.5% to US$1.8 trillion (RM5.85 trillion) from US$1.6 trillion in 2014.
* The government will ensure more prudent spending with priority on high-impact projects in order to reinforce sustainable fiscal governance.