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Malaysia Economy Profile 2006

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Economy - overview

Malaysia, a middle-income country, transformed itself from 1971 through the late 1990s from a producer of raw materials into an emerging multi-sector economy. Growth was almost exclusively driven by exports - particularly of electronics. As a result, Malaysia was hard hit by the global economic downturn and the slump in the information technology (IT) sector in 2001 and 2002. GDP in 2001 grew only 0.5% because of an estimated 11% contraction in exports, but a substantial fiscal stimulus package equal to US $1.9 billion mitigated the worst of the recession, and the economy rebounded in 2002 with a 4.1% increase. The economy grew 4.9% in 2003, notwithstanding a difficult first half, when external pressures from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Iraq War led to caution in the business community. Growth topped 7% in 2004 and 5% in 2005. As an oil and gas exporter, Malaysia has profited from higher world energy prices, although the cost of government subsidies for domestic gasoline and diesel fuel has risen and offset some of the benefit. Malaysia "unpegged" the ringgit from the US dollar in 2005, but so far there has been little movement in the exchange rate. Healthy foreign exchange reserves, low inflation, and a small external debt are all strengths that make it unlikely that Malaysia will experience a financial crisis over the near term similar to the one in 1997. The economy remains dependent on continued growth in the US, China, and Japan - top export destinations and key sources of foreign investment.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$287 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)

$122 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

5.2% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$12,000 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector

agriculture: 8.4%
industry: 48%
services: 43.6% (2005 est.)

Population below poverty line

8% (1998 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.4%
highest 10%: 39.2% (2003 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

3% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed)

20% of GDP (2005 est.)

Labor force

10.67 million (2005 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 14.5%
industry: 36%
services: 49.5% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate

3.6% (2005 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

49.2 (1997)

Budget

revenues: $30.57 billion
expenditures: $34.62 billion; including capital expenditures of $9.4 billion (2005 est.)

Public debt

46.2% of GDP (2005 est.)

Industries

Peninsular Malaysia - rubber and oil palm processing and manufacturing, light manufacturing industry, electronics, tin mining and smelting, logging, timber processing; Sabah - logging, petroleum production; Sarawak - agriculture processing, petroleum production and refining, logging

Industrial production growth rate

4.1% (2005 est.)

Electricity - production

79.28 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption

73.63 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - exports

100 million kWh (2003)

Electricity - imports

0 kWh (2003)

Oil - production

770,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - consumption

510,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil - imports

NA bbl/day

Oil - exports

230,200 bbl/day (2003)

Oil - proved reserves

3.1 billion bbl (2005 est.)

Natural gas - production

53.5 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

28.53 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - exports

22.41 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - imports

0 cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

2.124 trillion cu m (2005)

Current Account Balance

$14.06 billion (2005 est.)

Agriculture - products

Peninsular Malaysia - rubber, palm oil, cocoa, rice; Sabah - subsistence crops, rubber, timber, coconuts, rice; Sarawak - rubber, pepper, timber

Exports

$147.1 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities

electronic equipment, petroleum and liquefied natural gas, wood and wood products, palm oil, rubber, textiles, chemicals

Exports - partners

US 19.7%, Singapore 15.6%, Japan 9.3%, China 6.6%, Hong Kong 5.8%, Thailand 5.4% (2005)

Imports

$118.7 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities

electronics, machinery, petroleum products, plastics, vehicles, iron and steel products, chemicals

Imports - partners

Japan 14.6%, US 13%, Singapore 11.8%, China 11.6%, Taiwan 5.6%, Thailand 5.3%, South Korea 5%, Germany 4.5% (2005)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$70.23 billion (2005 est.)

Debt - external

$52 billion (2005 est.)

Currency (code)

ringgit (MYR)

Exchange rates

ringgits per US dollar - 3.8 (2005), 3.8 (2004), 3.8 (2003), 3.8 (2002), 3.8 (2001)

Fiscal year

calendar year


Source: CIA World Factbook
Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of May 15, 2007


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