MALAYSIAN manufacturers expect growth to slow this year as war in Iraq disrupts shipments and demand for semiconductors stalls.
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) vice-president Paul Low told reporters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday that growth in manufacturing would rise 2% this year, compared with 4% last year.
Definitely, there will be an impact of lower volume growth, he said. Semiconductors are beginning to face declines.''
Slowing demand for Malaysia's manufactured goods may hurt growth prospects of South-East Asia's third-largest economy after Indonesia and Thailand, underscoring the government's efforts to work out a stimulus package, expected this month, to fuel growth.
Low said shipments of electrical goods to the Middle East, including Kuwait and Bahrain, were cancelled because of the war.
Exports rose 7.8% in February from a year earlier, its slowest pace in eight months, as Malaysian Pacific Industries Bhd and other computer chipmakers sold fewer semiconductors overseas.
Exports of electrical and electronics goods, which bring in more than half of the country's export sales, fell 7% in February compared with a year ago, a third month of decline. Bloomberg
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