Malaysian economy set to grow in 2017, says Nazir

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's economy is set to grow this year with gross domestic product (GDP) likely to be above 5%, beating the 4.2% in 2016, said CIMB Group Holdings Bhd Chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak.

Nevertheless, the cautious global economic growth in the second half of this year would limit the upside trajectory, he said.

"The recent announcement of the GDP at 5.8% showed the strong economic momentum," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Asean Roundtable Series on "Deepening Capital Markets in Asean: Opportunities and Challenges" here today.

He said the major markets, including the US, China and others had shown a growth recovery for the first half of this year.

"We have high content of commodities and etc, which are benefiting all from this syncronised global recovery," he said.

CIMB has maintained its GDP forecast at 5.1% for this year, he said.

Meanwhile, CIMB Asean Research Institute Chairman, Tan Sri Dr Munir Majid, said the growth registered in the second quarter was at a very heartwarming rate.

However, he said, the country should not be complacent with that.

"It is encouraging, however, there are younger people who are not getting employed or landing a good job but still need to pay back their education loans and deal with living costs. Some even have to take up a second job to make ends meet.

"So, there still are issues to be addressed. Aggregate numbers (GDP growth) are good as they give confidence in the economy, generate investment and are feel good factor, which are necessary," he said.

Munir, when asked on Asean's performance, said the Philippines registered a GDP growth of 6.5% despite all its political issues.

"We have to think about Asean's future growth which may grow in different forms and direction as pulled by China.

Malaysia, he added, which has a strong and diversified source of income, is the largest economy after Indonesia and Thailand in Asean. — Bernama