Report: Malaysia to cut interest rate in Dec


Bank Negara is expected to lower interest rates by 25 basis points (bp) in December, with a further 25 basis points cut in the first quarter of 2020. “This is provided that the government will continue to focus on fiscal consolidation in the upcoming budget announcement on Oct 11, ” said a report by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ (ICAEW) latest Economic Update: South-East Asia.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s export momentum has outperformed in South-East Asia, according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ (ICAEW) latest Economic Update: South-East Asia report.

The momentum it said, reflected a more modest deceleration in export growth and resilient domestic demand, comparing the growth of trade-dependent economies such as Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines which have seen slower momentum in the second quarter of 2019.

“However, despite the outperformance of the Malaysian economy to date, Bank Negara is expected to lower interest rates by 25 basis points (bp) in December, with a further 25 basis points cut in the first quarter of 2020.

“This is provided that the government will continue to focus on fiscal consolidation in the upcoming budget announcement on Oct 11, ” the report said.

It said overall economic growth across the region in the first half of 2019 slowed to 4% compared with 4.5% in the second half of 2018, due to spillovers from the US-China trade war, slower Chinese domestic demand and a downturn in the global electronics cycle.

ICAEW economic advisor and Oxford Economics lead Asia economist Sian Fenner said: “Amid ongoing global headwinds and uncertainty around the outcome of US-China trade talks, we expect to see a further deterioration in economic prospects across the region, particularly amongst more trade-dependent economies.”

Overall, regional gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to moderate to 4.5% this year, amid another round of tariffs and trade restrictions by the US and China with the GDP to stabilise at the same rate in 2020.” — Bernama

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