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Standard Chartered Sees Malaysia's GDP Moderating In 2018
Last update: 25/01/2018

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to moderate to 5.3 per cent this year from 6.0 per cent in 2017 supported by strong private consumption, said Standard Chartered Bank.

Regional Head of Research, Southeast Asia Global Research, Edward Lee said the expectation is still healthy and strong compared to the average during the financial crisis period.

"We came from a strong year in 2017 where the labour market matrix stabilised and more jobs were created mainly in the second half of the year.

"However, as most infrastructure jobs were mostly awarded last year, we may see a slowdown this year in terms of investments, including in business loans growth," he told reporters after its Global Research Briefing 2018 here, today.

Lee also said trade in electrical and electronics which also picked up last year, would also see a slight decline.

"Amidst all these, we forecast headline inflation to be manageable at 2.9 per cent from 3.8 per cent in 2017," he added.

Meanwhile, its Global Research Macro Strategist, Mayank Mishra said the bank was positive on the ringgit's outlook with an expectation to stay broadly at the 3.90 level against the US dollar.

"We still think the ringgit is an undervalued currency in Asia's emerging market, and therefore, extremely attractive from a valuation standpoint.

"Given its strong rebound and economic fundamentals amidst the coming general elections, coupled with the weakening US dollar, the ringgit should appreciate well," said Mayank.