• Malaysia’s Economic Performance Index Increases 0.6 percent
  • Malaysia’s CPI Rises 3.2
  • Sarawak CM calls on SMEs to embrace technology
  • Companies Need To Allocate Budget For Innovation Even In Bad Times
  • Malaysia A Potential Partner To Realise Afghanistan’s Economic Aspiration
  • Singapore inflation edges up to 0.6% in July

 

Leading Index Increased in June 2017

The annual change in Leading Index (LI), which monitors the economic performance in advance, increased 0.6 per cent in June 2017 to 117.9 points, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia. Nevertheless, the monthly change in LI showed a negative growth of 0.6 per cent in the reference month, due to the decrease in real imports of semi-conductors (-0.5 per cent) and expected sales value in manufacturing sector (-0.4 per cent) components. The Coincident Index (CI), which measures the current economic activity, rose 0.4 per cent in June 2017, driven by the increase in volume index of retail trade (0.7 per cent) and industrial production index (0.2 per cent). “The annual change in CI increased 4.0 per cent in the reference month, in line with the growth in Gross Domestic Product at a constant price which expanded 5.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2017 from 5.6 per cent in the previous quarter,” said the department. The annual change in LI and CI in June 2017 remained favourable at a slower momentum compared with the previous month…..

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s consumer price index (CPI), which measures headline inflation, rose 3.2 per cent on a year-on-year basis in July 2017, and 0.4 of a point lower compared to 3.6 per cent in June 2017. The Statistics Department said core inflation increased 2.6 per cent in July 2017 compared with the same month last year. Among the major groups which recorded increases were the indices for transport (+7.7 per cent), food and non-alcoholic beverages (+4.2 per cent), health (+2.9 per cent), recreational services and culture (+2.6 per cent), restaurants and hotels (+2.6 per cent) and furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (+2.6 per cent). The department added that the transport group index showed a significant increase of 7.7 per cent on a y-o-y basis in July 2017, after rising 10.5 per cent in June 2017. The average price of a litre of RON95 petrol was RM1.96 in July 2017 compared to RM1.75 in July 2016 while for RON97, the average price increased to RM2.21 in July 2017 compared to RM2.10 previously.

 

Sarawak SMEs must embrace technology to prosper

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg has called on the business community in Sarawak, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to exploit technology in their business modules. He said taking advantage of technological advancements will help SMEs remain relevant and competitive as many nations including Malaysia are gearing towards the digital economy era. Abang Johari said the state must invest in technology and digitalization to align the its economy with the global digital economy. “Hence, our focus has to be on strengthening relevant technologies and infrastructure to enhance our e-commerce capabilities as well as transform the state’s human resource and help industry players be digital economy-ready. Sarawak, he said, is on the right path to achieving its goal to become a developed state with the inception of several initiatives to enhance the state’s potential in digital economy. This include the setting-up of the Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS), Sarawak Petroleum Company (Petros) and the multi-billion acquisition of the Bakun Dam from the Federal government. “These (initiatives) allow us to manage and develop our economy better as we have our own bank, participation in the oil and gas industry as well as control over our hydropower energy,” he said.

Companies Need to Allocate Budget For Innovation Even In Bad Times

Chief Operating Officer of Agensi Inovasi Malaysia, Abdullah Arshad said Malaysian companies must set aside a certain allocation from their expenditure planning for innovation even in difficult times. He noted that this was contrary with the regular practices in companies nowadays which abandoned innovation when the bottomline was bad, focusing on survivability and not planning for the future. “Rain or shine they must force themselves to allocate some budget for innovative activities so that they can continue to reinvent themselves,” he told Bernama. He said reinventing themselves was one way for companies to navigate their way to move forward during bad times. “You have to look for ways to make it better. You have to innovate. That is why innovative companies are more resilient and sustainable, because they keep on reinventing themselves with new ideas,” he said.

 

Malaysia A Potential Partner To Realise Afghanistan’s Economic Aspirations

Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Atiqullah Atifmal said Afghanistan view Malaysia as a potential partner to realise its economic aspirations. He said currently, Afghanistan was looking for more foreign investments, especially from countries like Malaysia, to help it further develop and achieve a better future. The ambassador welcomed the participation of Malaysian investors in Afghanistan’s mining, agriculture, agro-processing, infrastructure development and information technology sectors. He pointed out that investors in these sectors enjoyed 100 per cent ownership of their investments and long-term lease of land up to 100 years. Atiqullah said Afghanistan also has up to US$3 trillion worth of proven untapped mineral deposits, “which could make it one of the richest mining regions in the world”.

 

Singapore inflation edges up to 0.6% in July on higher retail, water prices

Singapore’s Consumer Price Index in July rose 0.6 per cent from a year earlier, a slightly faster pace than the 0.5 per cent in the previous month. The Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Monetary Authority of Singapore said this was primarily due to higher retail and water prices.  Collectively, prices for water and retail items – including clothing, footwear and household durables – rose by 1.2 per cent year-on-year, reversing the 0.2 per cent decline in June. July was the first month that saw water tariffs go up as part of phased increase by 30 per cent over two years, as announced in this year’s Budget.