KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian labour market has been improving consistently since the second half of 2021 and the momentum is expected to continue, lending support to achieve 6.1% gross domestic product (GDP) this year and 5% in 2023, S&P Global Ratings says.
Its economist Vishrut Rana said the recovering international tourism, following the border reopening, has been supporting Malaysia’s economic activities while external demand has been supporting growth so far this year.
However, he cautioned of a slowdown in external demand growth as the global economy slows over the second half of 2022.
“We forecast a lower GDP growth in 2023 relative to 2022, as the 2022 growth number is boosted by base effects resulting from weak activity in 2021.
“But overall, we still expect a steady growth momentum over 2023 due to the recovering domestic demand,” he told Bernama.
Vishrut noted that the country’s average growth rate between 2015 and 2019 was 4.9%.
“The key driver for a strong 2022 growth over 2021 is the boost to activities on the back of the economic reopening following the country’s virus containment measures.
“We expect strong private consumption and investment in Malaysia this year,” he said.