KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysias gross domestic product for next year is expected to be between 5.5% and 6% compared to 4.5% this year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.
Abdullah, who is also Finance Minister, said this would be achievable through encouraging growth of the international economy as well as the implementation of various steps under Budget 2004.
The manufacturing sector, which is expected to remain the main catalyst of the economy, will grow by 7.2% while the services sector is expected to grow by 5.5%, he said when tabling Budget 2004 in the Dewan Negara yesterday.
The Budget was tabled by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Sept 12 and was passed by the Dewan Rakyat on Oct 27.
Abdullah said with the focus given on the private sector to lead the economic growth, private sector investment was expected to expand by 9.9%.
Consumption, on the other hand, is expected to grow by 7%,'' he said.
In line with the good prospects, Abdullah said the living standard of Malaysians was expected to go up, with per capita income expected to climb from RM14,343 this year to RM14,954 next year.
On this years performance, Abdullah said the economic indicators showed a stronger growth trend.
The Industrial Production Index increased by 8% from January to August this year, compared to 3.2% during the same period last year, he said.
He added that in the agriculture sector, palm oil production increased by 16%, compared to a reduction of 1.2% during the same period last year. Rubber production also increased by 18% compared to 4% last year.
Abdullah said the country registered a trade surplus for 71 consecutive months, totalling RM4.4bil for September.
The countrys international reserves on Nov 6 had increased to RM167.3bil which can cover seven months of retained imports,'' he said.