KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy is expected to do better in 2020 as the manufacturing sector’s purchasing managers index for December 2019 rose to a 15-month high, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said.
The PMI rose 0.5 to 50.0 points in December 2019, the highest reading in 15 months, Lim said.
This came after the November 2019 PMI improved by 0.2 to 49.5 points from 49.3 points in October 2019.
“The PMI manufacturing improvement suggests the domestic economy would grow faster in the coming months,” he said in a statement on Saturday.
“The government expects the Malaysian gross domestic product to grow robustly at 4.7 per cent in 2019, before accelerating to 4.8 per cent this year,” he added.
Lim said the local economy would be supported by major infrastructure works namely Pan-Borneo Highway, Light Rail Transit 3, Mass Rapid Transit 2 and the East Coast Rail Link valued at RM120 billion.
He said the building of Bandar Malaysia with a gross development value of RM140 billion and the RM450 million digital stimulus of e-wallets providing RM30 free shopping money would also boost the economy.
“The government is boosting employment opportunities and income of youth, fresh graduates and women through the RM6.5 billion [email protected] programme,” he added.
Lim said the five-year programme provides 350,000 job opportunities for the unemployed by giving monthly wage incentive of RM500 to workers and RM300 monthly to employers for taking in local workers.
The Department of Statistics Malaysia showed that the latest leading economic indicators expanded 1.4 per cent to 120.3 points in October 2019 versus 118.6 points in the previous month.
Lim said this was a significant improvement from the -0.4 per cent and 0.3 per cent change in August and September respectively.