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Bank Negara Malaysia retains 2023 GDP growth projection at 4-5pc

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is still maintaining its forecast for the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year at between 4.0 per cent and 5.0 per cent, said newly-appointed governor Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour.

Domestic demand remains resilient and improvements can be seen in the job market, which continue to support consumer spending, he said.

“The tourism sector is recovering well and is expected to keep growing. In fact, we see airlines raising flight capacity to meet higher travel demand.

“Lastly, our multi-year infrastructure projects continued to spur economic activity,” he told Bernama in his first exclusive media interview since taking up his current post.

Abdul Rasheed, whose five-year term as BNM governor began on July 1, said a fuller picture of Malaysia’s performance for the first half of 2023 would be unveiled in a few weeks when the Department of Statistics releases the second-quarter GDP data.

In its Economic and Monetary Review 2022 report released on March 29, 2023, BNM said the Malaysian economy is expected to grow between 4.0 per cent and 5.0 per cent in 2023, driven mainly by firm domestic demand amid challenges arising from slowing global growth.

“In tandem with more subdued global trade activity, as similarly observed in other economies, gross exports are expected to expand modestly at 1.5 per cent in 2023,” it said.

Nevertheless, further recovery in inbound tourism and moderation in import growth would continue to provide support to net export growth, the central bank said.

In the first quarter of 2023, Malaysia’s economy recorded a better-than-expected growth of 5.6 per cent driven mainly by private sector expenditure amid further expansion of household spending, continued investment activity, improving labour market and higher tourism activities.

As for 2022, Malaysia recorded a moderate GDP growth of 8.7 per cent against the backdrop of full upliftment of Covid-19 containment measures; resilient growth in exports, particularly commodity exports; the revival of tourism activity; and continued policy support.



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