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Penang’s economy is thriving, says Kian Ming

 | October 13, 2017

DAP lawmaker highlights data from the statistics department which places Penang among the top three state economies and, at worst, the top five.

Ong-Kian-Ming-penang-economy-coat-of-arm-1PETALING JAYA: Penang’s economy is among the top three in Malaysia, with rising incomes and decreasing inequality in the state, DAP’s Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming said today.

Ong, who is head of Penang Institute in Kuala Lumpur, said data from the statistics department showed that Penang’s economy was growing strongly and was one of the top performing states in Malaysia on nearly all important economic indicators.

In 2016, he said, Penang’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita at current prices was RM47,322, the second highest after Kuala Lumpur (RM101,420) and higher than Selangor (RM44,616), Melaka (RM41,363) and Johor (RM31,952).

Penang’s real GDP growth meanwhile was 5.6% in 2016, 5.5% in 2015 and 8% in 2014. Penang’s real GDP growth was ranked second in 2014, 5th in 2015 and 3rd in 2016.

“Penang and Selangor are the only two states to rank in the top five states in terms of real GDP growth from 2014 to 2016,” he said in a statement.

He added that Penang’s unemployment rate was 2.1% in 2016, the second lowest in the country after Melaka (0.9%).

“This shows that despite some of the recent factory closures, the labour market in Penang is still very tight as a result of new and higher value-added investments coming into the state.”

Likewise, Penang’s median and mean household income of RM5,409 and RM6,771 last year put it in fifth place behind Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor and Melaka.

In terms of per capita household income, which is income divided by the number of people in each household, Ong said Penang was ranked third, with a median and mean per capita household income of RM1,595 and RM2,402 respectively.

This put Penang behind only Kuala Lumpur (RM2,654 and RM3,718) and Selangor (RM1,960 and RM2,620).

“At the same time, Penang has also experienced the fifth largest drop in its Gini Coefficient (a measure of income inequality) from 0.364 in 2014 to 0.356 in 2016, a fall of 0.008,” he said.

The higher the Gini Coefficient, the higher the inequality.

Ong said the data showed that Penang’s economy was built on a sound and sustainable foundation, placing it among the top three states in Malaysia and, at worst, in the top five.


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