No recession fears, says Bank Negara

Marzunisham Omar. (Credit pic: BNM)

KUALA LUMPUR: It is very unlikely that Malaysia will slip into a recession in the next 12 months, says Bank Negara Malaysia assistant governor Marzunisham Omar.

Marzunisham told FMT that the economic environment was “positive” on the domestic front.

“(Business) sentiments are still very strong, as are economic drivers of growth and private consumption, and businesses are optimistic,” he told FMT on the sidelines of a conference organised by the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (Isis).

“Even the global economy is doing rather well despite the doom and gloom we hear,” he added.

Marzunisham said reputable international bodies put global economic growth at around 3.5% to 3.7%.

“Given the external and domestic situation, I can quite definitely say that we are not heading for a recession in the next six to 12 months,” he said.

World Bank country manager for Malaysia, Firas Raad, agreed that Malaysia was not heading for a recession.

“I think growth will moderate but our outlook for Malaysia’s growth is at 4% to 5%. We did see growth based on Bank Negara’s estimates in the second quarter dip a little but there’s still a lot of drivers this year.

“So it will drop a little bit but not much.”

Earlier this year, the central bank lowered Malaysia’s economic growth forecast for 2018 to 5% from its earlier forecast of 5.5% to 6%, due to slower growth.