Malaysia on track to achieve high-income status by 2024, says World Bank

The World Bank says Malaysia’s economy will grow by 4.6% this year.

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is on track to achieve high-income economy status by 2024, World Bank lead economist Richard Record said.

He said Malaysia’s gross net income per capita stood at US$10,460 as of last year.

The World Bank has set US$12,375 as the threshold level to define high-income economy status, Record said, adding that Malaysia’s target was achievable.

He was speaking at a press conference after the launch of the Kick-Off Conference on the 12th Malaysia Plan organised by the economic affairs ministry and the 20th edition of the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor report, themed Re-energising the Public Service, here today.

Record said the World Bank’s forecast that the Malaysian economy will grow by 4.7% this year was lowered by 0.1% to 4.6% because of weaker investment and export activity.

He said while private consumption was expected to continue to support domestic demand, its growth was projected to decelerate to 6.6% this year.

“This follows a robust expansion in 2018,,especially during the zero-rated Goods and Services Tax (GST) period,” he said.

Record said that in the public sector, continued rationalisation of government expenditure would continue to weigh on its contribution, with the growth rate projected to stand at 1.8% for the year.

He said the Consumer Price Index was projected to average about 1% for 2019, mainly due to the diminishing effect of changes to consumption tax policy towards the second half of the year.

On the on-going trade war between the United States and China, Record said Malaysia was benefiting from trade diversion in some export products as a result of the tension.

“Malaysia’s export of tariff-affected products to the US and China has increased in value by more than US$1 billion since the tariffs were imposed, ” he said.