KUALA LUMPUR: Economists have maintained their 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecasts for Malaysia after November exports fared better than the consensus estimate.
Hong Leong Investment Bank Research’s (HLIB) Felicia Ling and Goh Khing Mae said in a note today export growth picked up to 4.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) in November, faring better than the 3.1% y-o-y consensus estimate, report agencies.“Growth was lifted by manufactured exports amid a decline in commodity-related exports,” they said.
While downside risks continued to cloud the recovery in overall trade activity owing to the resurgence of Covid-19 cases, they opined that vaccine roll-outs in some major economies are anticipated to alleviate some of the risks in 2021. They maintained their 2020 and 2021 GDP growth forecasts for Malaysia at -5.5% and +6% respectively.
“For full-year 2021, we expect real GDP growth to turn around and expand by 6%, lower than the official forecast of between 6.5% and 7.5%,” they said.