Malaysia’s economy to expand by 4.9%

Surpassing last year’s economic growth of 4.7 percent, Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is forecasted to grow by 4.9 percent this year, revealed the World Bank’s East Asia Pacific Economic Update.

Notably, the World Bank’s latest projection is within the 4.5 to 5.5 percent GDP growth eyed by Bank Negara Malaysia for 2014.

While exports are anticipated to rise this year, Malaysia’s domestic consumption will likely be affected by the government’s ongoing fiscal consolidation and higher debt servicing costs, added the report.

On a larger perspective, East Asia’s economy is expected to expand by 7.1 percent in 2014. While its average growth rate dipped from eight percent in 2009 to 2013, the region remains as the world’s fastest developing economic bloc.

“Excluding China, the developing countries in the region will grow by percent, slightly down from 5.2 percent last year,” noted the World Bank, adding that China’s GDP growth is predicted to slide to 7.6 percent in 2014 from 7.7 percent last year. 

“East Asia Pacific has served as the world’s main growth engine since the global financial crisis. Stronger global growth this year will help the region expand at a relatively steady pace while adjusting to tighter global financial conditions,” noted Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank’s Regional Vice-President for East Asia and Pacific.

Meanwhile, larger South-East Asian economies like Thailand and Indonesia could see higher levels of household debt and tougher global financial conditions, whereas the GDP growth of the Philippines could slow to 6.6 percent.

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