PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is sticking to its 2023 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast of 4%-5% even though the World Bank has cut its economic growth projection for Malaysia to 3.9% from 4.3% previously.
Deputy finance minister Ahmad Maslan confirmed Malaysia is maintaining its 2023 GDP growth forecast.
“The finance ministry has not made any changes with regard to the economic growth projection for this year.
“However, we do appreciate the World Bank’s statement (yesterday) as the statement was based on its own analysis, and we respect their findings,” he told reporters after launching the Malaysia-China Entrepreneur Macro Health Forum 2023 today.
Yesterday, World Bank’s lead economist for Malaysia, Apurva Sanghi, said the downward revision was due to anemic global growth and weak external demand as Malaysia’s export numbers contracted by 3.3% and 9.4% in the first two quarters of this year.
Apurva said it is not just external factors weighing down Malaysia’s growth, it is also domestic factors such as high base effects, lagging effects of rate hikes, and extreme weather events.
He also noted the dampening effects on spending growth from monetary policy normalisation back to pre-Covid levels, especially on interest rate sensitive sectors.
Nevertheless, domestic demand would continue to support Malaysia’s economic resilience this year, Apurva added.
For 2024, the World Bank projects a moderate rise in GDP growth to 4.3% from 4.2% previously.