KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s 2017 gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to grow at 5.8 per cent, year-on-year, the highest annual growth rate since 2014, said World Bank Group, Malaysia and Thailand, Director for Regional Partnerships, Dr Ulrich Zachau.
He said the World Bank expected the economy to remain strong in 2018 and projected a growth of 5.2 per cent.
“Accelerated growth has been fuelled by strengthening domestic demand, improved labour market conditions and wage growth, as well as, improved external demand for Malaysia’s manufactured products and commodity exports.
“Capital expenditure has also increased due to higher private and public investment,” said Zachau at a press conference to release the 17th edition of the “Malaysia Economic Monitor” here today.
He said as Malaysia was expected to achieve a high-income country status in the next few years, it was important ro increase the per capita income of all groups, particularly that of the Bottom 40 (B40).
Saying that it would equally benefit the population, he added that there would be a social cohesion across all the groups in the country.
“However, equality remains a challenge as income rises and the government needs to ensure that Malaysia’s growth is sustainable,” he said.
Meanwhile, World Bank Group Lead Country Economist Dr Richard Record said the medium-term moderate projection of a 5.2 per cent GDP growth for 2018 was fair.
“We are confident that if economic policies stays on course with continued, prudent sound macroeconomic management coupled with continued strong reforms, Malaysia would continue to enjoy robust growth,” said Record.
He also said while Malaysia had the strength to remain strong next year, it should take the opportunity to focus on increasing productivity at a rapid rate through education and adoption of digital technology.
Earlier in October, the World Bank projected upwards Malaysia’s GDP growth at 5.2 per cent, after an earlier forecast of 4.9 per cent made in June.