KUALA LUMPUR:: The World Bank Group has maintained Malaysia’s 2019 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast at 4.7%, driven by private consumption.
Lead economist for Malaysia Richard Record said private consumption would continue to be the main driver of growth, albeit expanding at a more measured pace.
“Household spending will be buoyed by stable labour market conditions and income support measures such as the cost of living aid,” he told reporters at the East Asia and Pacific economic update briefing here yesterday.
He said gross fixed capital formation was expected to increase slightly, driven by the private sector, while public investment was expected to remain subdued in the near term.
“The external sector may be negatively affected by heightened uncertainty surrounding the global environment, particularly the possible escalation of US-China trade tensions,” he said.
Record said monetary poverty was expected to continue its downward trend in 2019, with a projected decline to 1.4% based on the upper middle-income countries poverty line of US$5.50 per person per day in 2011.
“Several initiatives for low-income households, including the national B40 health protection fund, an insurance scheme for the B40 group, and affordable housing initiatives are in the pipeline to improve both monetary and non-monetary wellbeing,” he said.
Going into 2020, he said Malaysia’s economy was projected to expand at 4.6%, and the country was expected to achieve high-income country status by 2024.
He said the country’s fiscal deficit was expected to narrow to 3.4% of GDP in 2019 and subsequently to 3% in 2020.
“Near-term fiscal consolidation efforts are expected to be achieved primarily through rigorous expenditure rationalisation,” he added. — Bernama
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