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 M'sia GDP shrinks 1.2%

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PostSubject: M'sia GDP shrinks 1.2%   Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:27 am

KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA'S economy shrank 1.2 per cent in the third quarter, an improvement from the previous two quarters as the financial services and construction sectors gained strength, the government said on Friday.

The year-on-year fall in gross domestic product came amid declines in key sectors such as manufacturing, which dropped 8.6 per cent, and mining, which slid 3.5 per cent, the Department of Statistics said in a statement. But it was a more moderate contraction compared with the 6.2 per cent drop in the first three months of 2009 and 3.9 per cent in the second quarter, the statement said.

The government last month narrowed its forecast for the contraction in the economy this year to 3 per cent following stimulus measures totaling RM67 billion (S$27.3 billion). It earlier expected the economy to shrink 4 per cent to 5 per cent. For 2010, the government has forecast growth of 2 to 3 per cent.

The services sector was the 'main impetus' for the better economic performance, expanding 3.4 per cent in the third quarter due to increasing finance and insurance activities and retail trade, the department said.

The construction sector grew 7.9 per cent, buoyed by stimulus spending on new infrastructure. Exports and imports both continued a downward spiral.

Exports shrank 13.4 per cent amid reduced foreign demand for electrical and electronics products and petroleum goods. Imports contracted 12.9 per cent because of lower purchases of intermediate and capital goods. -- AP

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