SERC maintains GDP target of 4.3% for 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The Socio-Economic Research Centre (SERC) is maintaining its 4.3% gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for Malaysia in 2017, which is at the lower end of Bank Negara's projection of 4.3% to 4.8%, as first-half performance is expected to be flat.

"We expect Q1 GDP to be 4.4%, Q2 is also around that level and we need to see where are we in the second half," executive director Lee Heng Guie told a media briefing on "Quarterly Economy Tracker (Jan-Mar) here today.

He said the market needs to monitor closely consumer spending, which is estimated to be lower at 5.7% versus the 6% projection by the central bank. Consumer spending is a major component in GDP with a 53% share.

However, exports growth, if can persist, could give upside support to the economic growth, according to Lee.

Exports growth forecast has been revised upward to 5% this year from 1.5% to 2% previously.