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Malaysia's economy to grow within 3.2 to 4.2 pct, fiscal deficit expands

28th February, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to grow in the range of 3.2 per cent to 4.2 per cent in 2020 amid the global economic scenario and COVID-19 impact, says interim Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The outlook is a downward revision from previous projection of 4.8 per cent. Last year, the economy expanded at 4.3 per cent.

“I believe, the economic stimulus package will enable the Malaysian economy to achieve the highest point of the range.

“In formulating the stimulus package, the government exercised prudence with respect to its fiscal position,” he said, adding that as a result of the stimulus package, the fiscal deficit is estimated to slightly increase to 3.4 per cent of GDP compared to the original target of 3.2 per cent of GDP.

Dr Mahathir said this when announcing the 2020 Economic Stimulus Package themed “Strengthening Confidence, Stimulating Growth, Protecting Jobs” in Putrajaya, Thursday.

The Prime Minister said the government is cognisant the implementation of the economic stimulus package could not be successfully delivered by the administration alone.

“Therefore, the government calls on the private sector to play their part in ensuring the stimulus package is successful,” he added.

COVID-19 not only affected Malaysia but globally, with countries affected began to revise their GDP growth. Indonesia has reduced its growth targets for 2020 from 5.1-5.5 per cent to 5-5.4 per cent, while Singapore slashed midpoint of its GDP forecast to 0.5 per cent from 1.5 per cent.

Malaysia’s economy expanded 4.3 per cent in 2019 from 4.7 per cent registered in 2018, after fourth-quarter 2019 growth slowed to 3.6 per cent from 4.4 per cent recorded in the same period a year before. –Bernama

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