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Nazir cautions second half slowdown may dampen growth

Malaysia’s economy is set to grow this year with gross domestic product (GDP) likely to be above five percent, beating the 4.2 percent in 2016, said CIMB Group Holdings Bhd chairperson 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 percent 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" in Kuala Lumpur today.

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

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

CIMB has maintained its GDP forecast at 5.4 percent for this year, he said.

Meanwhile, CIMB Asean Research Institute chairperson 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 is necessary,” he said.

Munir, when asked about Asean's performance, said the Philippines registered a GDP growth of 6.5 percent 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

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