UOB: Malaysia's consumption to stay stable
KUALA LUMPUR: Consumption levels in Malaysia will remain stable in the year ahead, backed by stable unemployment rates and high labour participation, said United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) Bhd.
Economist Julia Goh said in a statement the current labour force participation rate is high at 67.8% with companies still realising profits and the average nominal wage growth expected to stay positive.
She said these would contribute to Malaysia’s domestic consumption growth.
“Our positive outlook for domestic consumption is further supported by Malaysia’s tourism growth,” she said.
Goh said the number of tourists to Malaysia in the first eight months of the year grew 3.8% to 17.6 million, largely due to the higher number of visitors from China and neighbouring countries Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
She said UOB expects Malaysia’s economy to expand moderately next year driven by domestic consumption, mega infrastructure projects and foreign direct investment.
The bank had previously forecast Malaysia’s gross domestic product would likely grow to 4.5% in 2017 from 4.2% this year. – Bernama