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NEWS UPDATES 18 August 2009

IMF says Malaysia 'well-positioned' to weather global crisis

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While Malaysia has been hit hard by the global economic crisis but that sound policies had positioned the country to cope with the downturn, AFP quoted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as saying.

The IMF said the Malaysian authorities' fiscal response to the crisis "has been appropriately large." However, there was "some limited room" for additional stimulus if the downturn proves longer or deeper than expected, the IMF said following a review with Malaysian officials on July 16.

"Executive directors commended the Malaysian authorities for sound macroeconomic management in difficult circumstances, and observed that Malaysia is well-positioned to weather the severe impact of the global downturn," the report said.

"A strong external position, robust balance sheets of household and corporate sectors, and sound financial system should lessen the blow from adverse external shocks," it said in a statement. The Article IV consultation is a review usually held annually with each of the IMF's 186 member nations.

The IMF said that economic activity and inflation have slowed considerably since mid-2008, putting the economy on track to contract for the first time in 10 years.

The Washington-based institution estimates the Malaysian economy will contract 4.5 percent in 2009 and grow 2.5 percentin 2010. The export-led recession was expected to last through end-2009, with quarterly growth returning in early 2010. "Risks to growth relate to the duration of the global recession, the evolution of commodity prices, and adverse macro-financial interactions," it said.


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