KUALA LUMPUR: Growth in Malaysia’s exports likely accelerated in July, supported by strong shipments in electrical and electronics products, according to economists. Exports likely rose 21.8% in July from the previous year, according to the median forecast from a poll of nine economists. This could be a potential rebound from June’s slower-than-expected export growth of 10.0% after hitting a peak of 32.5% growth in May. June’s export growth moderated as gains in shipments of electrical goods and electronics were partly offset by a drop in exports of timber and refined petroleum products. Still, Malaysia posted gross domestic product growth of 5.8% in the second quarter ended June, its fastest pace in more than two years. The strong economic growth was powered by growth in the private and public sectors, and a broad-based expansion in exports of manufactured goods and commodities. For the second half of this year, economists expect moderate growth in both exports and imports for the third-largest economy in Southeast Asia. “We believe our trade performance will continue to expand moderately in the second half of 2017 amid mild recovery in global trade coupled with stable commodities prices,” Selangor-based JF Apex Research said.
Imports in July likely climbed 12.6% from a year earlier, according to the poll. Imports rose 3.7% in June, down from the 30.4% growth in May, as higher imports of intermediate goods and capital goods were offset by decline in imports of consumption goods. The trade surplus is expected to shrink to 8.0 billion ringgit ($1.88 billion) in July from MYR9.9 billion in June, according to the poll. The official July trade data is due Wednesday at 0400 GMT.