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 30 Jan 2009

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Malaysia expects higher budget deficit in 2009

Malaysia's budget deficit in 2009 will be higher than the 4.8 percent of gross domestic product planned after a second fiscal stimulus package is introduced, Reuters quoted the country's finance minister as saying.

The government has said it will implement a second package to boost the economy after 7 billion Malaysian ringgit ($1.95 billion)was reallocated to boost the economy, largely from savings due to reduced petrol subsidies.

"It (the fiscal deficit) all depends on the fiscal pump priming that we are going to do," Najib Razak, who is deputy prime minister and finance minister, said on Thursday, according to state news agency Bernama.

So far no details have emerged of the new spending package and Najib has set up a suggestions page on his blog (

Many economists were already forecasting that the budget deficit for this year would exceed the planned 4.8 percent of GDP.

Royal Bank of Scotland said last week that investors should go short of Malaysian debt due to the likelihood of a credit ratings downgrade amid a slowing economy and planned additional spending.

It saw the deficit at 5 percent of GDP this year.





















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