The World Bank has revised Malaysia’s economic growth to 4.9% for 2017 from 4.4% forecast in April this year. It however, called for better data management that can help the country achieve high income status. The institution added that more reliable and open data access can boost growth for 2017, an outlook largely driven by strong private consumption, supported by improving labour market conditions.

World Bank country director for Southeast Asia Ulrich Zachau said the revision, which echoed Malaysia’s economic growth of 5.6% in the first quarter 2017 (1Q17), included increasing private investments and major government-led infrastructure project as contributing factors. It also revised the forecast growth for 2018 and 2019 to 4.9% and 5% respectively.

“The forecast for 2017 is an increase from the previous forecast, and slightly above the government’s projection range of 4.3% to 4.8%. The upgrade is in line with consensus estimates, which expect a faster expansion in the economy”.

He was speaking at the launch of the Malaysia Economic Monitor (MEM) themed “Data for development”. The report focuses on the importance of good data and effective data management, and how it can inform policy-making and improve service delivery. The report said good data can boost productivity in the private sector as data is used for product development, market analysis and evidence-based decision-making. In the public sector, a more integrated open data ecosystem can enable institutions including government data management agencies to pool information that can bring about services that are better customised, faster, cheaper and of higher quality.


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