Economic Trends/Outlook in Malaysia
The growth rate of GDP remained high until the first half of 2008 (6% in average), after that, it suffered the effects of the global crisis and was strongly reduced in 2009 (-1.7%). The effects of the crisis were softened by a important budgetary stimulus plan. The growth, estimated at 6.7% of the GDP, bounced back in 2010, with the support of the dynamic private consumption and the recovery of domestic investment.
The budgetary deficit has a tendency to increase, mainly due to the need of compensating the weakness of private investment and also because the public debt has highly increased. To face this problem, the government has launched a program to perform a progressive revision of subventions in order to reduce its expenditures. The objective is to bring the budget deficit to 3% of GDP by 2015. In addition, the "New Economic Model" (NEM) intended to promote innovation and to increase production profits, was launched together with the tenth five-year plan (2011-2015).
Malaysia has one of the highest living standards in South-East Asia and a very low unemployment rate. However, the objective of NEM is to double the income per capita from now until 2020. Despite the government's long-term efforts to improve the economic situation of native Malays, the population of Chinese origin continues to maintain its traditional dominance.
|GDP (billions USD)||192.96||237.96e||247.78e||267.75e||288.98e|
|GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)||-1.7||7.2e||5.5e||5.2e||5.1e|
|GDP per Capita (USD)||6,917||8,423e||8,624e||9,164e||9,725e|
|General Government Balance (in % of GDP)||-5.8||-5.6e||-5.6e||-4.9e||-4.6e|
|General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP)||55.4||54.2e||55.1e||55.8e||56.5e|
|Inflation Rate (%)||0.6||1.7e||2.8e||2.5e||2.4e|
|Unemployment Rate (% of the Labor Force)||3.6||3.3e||3.2e||3.1e||3.0e|
|Current Account (billions USD)||31.99e||32.77e||33.67e||34.72e||-|
|Current Account (in % of GDP)||16.7e||15.4e||14.7e||14.0e||-|
Source: IMF - World Economic Outlook Database
Note: (e) Estimated Data
Main Sectors of Industry
Agriculture employs around 15% of Malaysians and contributes to 10% of the GDP. Malaysia is ranked amongst the world's main producers of palm oil, cocoa, and rubber. The country is also one of the main exporters of tropical wood. Malaysia has successfully developed its economy based on raw materials (the export of rubber and tin, significant reserves of oil and gas, copper and bauxite).
Industry contributes to around 40% of the GDP. Malaysia is one of the world's largest exporters of semi-conductor devices, electrical goods and appliances, and the government has ambitious plans to make of Malaysia the main producer and developer of high-tech products, including software. Malaysia is a major outsourcing destination for components manufacturing after China and India. The country has attracted significant foreign investments which have played a major role in the transformation of Malaysia's economy.
The tertiary sector accounts for nearly half of the GDP, which is due mainly to the tourism sector. Malaysia has become one of South-East Asia's major tourist destinations.
|Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
|Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment)||14.8||28.5||56.7|
|Value Added (in % of GDP)||9.5||44.3||46.2|
|Value Added (Annual % Change)||0.4||-6.6||1.9|
Source: World Bank - Last Available Data.
Indicator of Economic Freedom
- Moderately free
- World Rank:
- Regional Rank:
Sources of General Economic Information
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of International Trade and Industry
- Statistical Office
Department of Statistics Malaysia
- Central Bank
Central Bank of Malaysia
- Stock Exchange
Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange
- Other Useful Resources
Buy USA Info (in English)
- Main Online Newspapers
Kwong Wah Yit Pot (in Chinese)
Utusan Malaysia (in Malay)
- Economic Portals
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