KUALA LUMPUR (April 1): Malaysia’s key economic indicators continue to grow modestly in January 2023, despite ongoing geopolitical conflicts and ratcheting up of inflation in the global economy, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
Chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the country’s total trade noted a slower growth of 1.9% in January 2023 to RM207.5 billion, from RM203.6 billion in January 2022.
“Exports rose by 1.6% to RM112.8 billion, while imports grew 2.3% to RM94.7 billion.
“Meanwhile, the trade surplus shrank by 2.1% from the previous year to RM18.2 billion,” he said in a statement on Saturday (April 1), in conjunction with the release of the Malaysian Economic Statistics Review (MESR) Vol 3/2023.
On the other hand, he said Malaysia’s trade performance in February 2023 grew 11.0% or RM20.3 billion to RM205.0 billion, from February 2022.
Exports rose 9.8% to RM112.3 billion, and imports growth continued to outpace exports growth, increasing by 12.4% to RM92.7 billion.
“The trade balance remained in surplus at RM19.6 billion, despite a decline of 1.3% from the previous year,” he said.
He also stated that the manufacturing sector’s sales value rose modestly by 6.5% to RM148.0 billion in January 2023, compared to 8.8% in the preceding month.
“The continuous positive momentum was backed by the double-digit growth in transport equipment and other manufactures (14%), as well as the petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products (10.1%) sub-sectors,” he said
Mohd Uzir noted that the Industrial Production Index (IPI) growth moderated to 1.8% in January 2023, against 2.9% in the preceding month, weighed down partly by slower growth in the manufacturing sector’s output and a decline of the electricity output by 4.3%.
Meanwhile, mining production expanded by 5.9%.
He also said that the sales value of wholesale and retail trade in Malaysia stood at RM135.1 billion in January 2023, with a growth of 12.4%.
The increase was attributed to the retail trade sub-sector, which rose to RM10.6 billion or 21.7% to record RM59.6 billion.
Motor vehicles and wholesale trade also grew by 20.1% to RM15.2 billion, and 3.1% to RM60.4 billion respectively.
From the perspective of the price, he said Malaysia’s inflation in January 2023 recorded a slower increase of 3.7%, from 3.8% in December 2022.
“The growth in inflation was still driven by three main groups, namely, restaurants & hotels (6.8%), food & non-alcoholic beverages (6.7%), and transport (4%).
“For February 2023, Malaysia’s inflation remained at 3.7%,” he said.
Moving forward, Mohd Uzir said the recovery momentum is expected to continue in the following months, albeit at a slower rate, stemming from the impact on Malaysia’s tourism following China reopening its borders, as well as continuous improvement in the labour market.