Labour productivity: Malaysia has to play catch up with regional countries
Malaysia’s labour productivity growth of 3.5% for 2016 was an improvement compared with 3.4% in the previous year, but still lags behind the productivity levels of regional countries such as Singapore, South Korea and Japan. Socio-Economic Research Centre (SERC) executive director Lee Heng Guie said although Malaysia’s labour productivity growth inched to 3.5% in 2016 from 3.4% 2015, it was far from satisfactory as this marked two successive years of slowing growth from 3.7% achieved in 2013.” He added that it would be challenging to meet the 3.7% annual growth target.

Malaysia’s Total Trade Rises To RM139.18 ln Ibn April, Exports Expand To RM73.97 Bln
Malaysia’s total trade in April 2017 expanded by 22.5 per cent to RM139.18 billion compared with the corresponding month last year, with exports increasing by 20.6 per cent to RM73.97 billion. This was the fifth consecutive month that exports registered double-digit growth since December 2016. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said the trade surplus stood at RM8.75 billion, the 234th consecutive month of a trade surplus since November 1997. Malaysia’s expansion in trade was seen with all major trading partners, namely ASEAN, China, Japan, India, the European Union (EU), and the United States (US).

Malaysia’s e-commerce to grow 23% per year till 2021
Malaysia’s online retail market is expected to grow by 23% per year through to 2021, driven by electronics and media. Management consulting firm A.T. Kearney’s 2017 Global Retail Development Index listed Malaysia as third among the top 30 developing countries for retail investment worldwide. India topped the list, followed by China. The firm said the 23% online retail growth will account for 40% of total online sales in 2017, citing the government’s plan to spend US$280 million to roll out high speed broadband access to rural areas beginning last year as a boon for e-commerce expansion in the country. An influx of tourists, higher disposable income and government investments in infrastructure have also boosted Malaysia’s retail industry, which saw a growth of 3.8% in 2016.

$10 bln fiscal package to boost jobs and welfare in South Korea
South Korea’s new government today announced a 11.2 trillion won fiscal stimulus package which will increase social welfare subsidies and seeks to generate 810,000 jobs in the public sector. The government estimates the extra spending will boost economic growth by 0.2 percentage point this year, which may raise its 2017 outlook from the current 2.6 percent. It expects to the extra budget to add 71,000 jobs to the public sector workforce and 15,000 jobs to the private sector.


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