RHB Investment Bank Projects Malaysia's Q1 2024 GDP Growth at 4.2%

Malaysia's Q1 2024 GDP growth projected at 4.2%, surpassing forecasts, driven by strong export-oriented sectors. Positive trade performance and current account surplus reinforce Malaysia's position as a top global trading nation.

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RHB Investment Bank Projects Malaysia's Q1 2024 GDP Growth at 4.2%

RHB Investment Bank Projects Malaysia's Q1 2024 GDP Growth at 4.2%

RHB Investment Bank has projected Malaysia's Q1 2024 GDP growth at 4.2% year-on-year, surpassing the Department of Statistics Malaysia's forecast of 3.9%. The higher growth projection is attributed to the strong performance of export-oriented sectors such as electrical and electronics, energy, and metal goods.

Malaysia's total trade expanded by 7.1% to RM690.59 billion year-on-year in Q1 2024, resulting in a trade surplus of RM34.22 billion. Exports fell by a modest 0.8% year-on-year in March, a smaller decline than economists had anticipated. The Q1 exports turned around to grow by 2.2% year-on-year, marking the first growth in a year, while imports increased further by 13.1%.

The cumulative trade surplus of RM34.2 billion in Q1 2024 is expected to translate into a current account surplus of RM0.5 billion, bolstering liquidity in the economy. Economists remain cautiously optimistic about Malaysia's trade sector, forecasting a moderate export growth of 3.5% for this year, slightly lower than Bank Negara Malaysia's estimate of 5.0%.

Why this matters: Malaysia's stronger-than-expected GDP growth in Q1 2024, driven by resilient export-oriented sectors, underscores the country's economic recovery amid global challenges. The positive trade performance and current account surplus reinforce Malaysia's position as one of the world's top 25 trading nations.

Foreign investors have viewed the government's efforts to attract foreign and domestic investments positively, suggesting resilience in the face of global economic headwinds. "Malaysia's position as one of the world's top 25 trading nations suggests resilience in the face of global economic challenges," according to the provided summaries.

Key Takeaways

  • RHB projects Malaysia's Q1 2024 GDP growth at 4.2%, above official 3.9% forecast.
  • Malaysia's Q1 2024 trade surplus reached RM34.22 billion, boosting current account surplus.
  • Exports grew 2.2% in Q1 2024, first growth in a year, while imports rose 13.1%.
  • Economists forecast moderate 3.5% export growth in 2024, below BNM's 5.0% estimate.
  • Malaysia's position as top 25 trading nation suggests resilience to global headwinds.