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PETALING JAYA: Based on Malaysia’s socioeconomic scenario, the country’s economy has the potential to address global challenges, evidenced by its improved labour market and continuous external demand, according to Malaysian Economics Statistics Review Vol 1/2023 released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia today.

This is also backed up by upward trends for several key indicators, which have consistently shown positive annual growth.

Malaysia’s trade sustained its robust performance in December 2022 with exports increasing 6.0% to record RM131.9 billion, while imports rose 12.1% to RM104.1 billion.

Summarising 2022, Malaysia’s trade surpassed the RM2 trillion mark for the second year in a row, and surged 27.8% year-on-year to RM2.8 trillion.

The Industrial Production Index in November 2022 increased 4.8% year-on-year while the sales value of the manufacturing sector soared 11.8% to record RM159.2 billion.

In addition, sales value of wholesale and retail trade recorded a double-digit growth of 13.9% year-on-year to reach RM133.9 billion in November 2022.

Looking into the labour market’s performance, the number of employed persons increased 3.2% year-on-year in November 2022 to record 16.11 million persons while the unemployment rate remained at 3.6% for three consecutive months.

In terms of prices, the Consumer Price Index and the Producer Price Index in December 2022 recorded increases of 3.8% and 3.5% respectively compared with the same month in 2021. For the whole of 2022, inflation rose to 3.3% compared with a rate of 2.5% in the preceding year.

The production of oil palm fresh fruit bunches in December 2022 surged 14.9%, amounted to 8,299,936 tonnes compared with that in December of the previous year. However, the production of natural rubber declined 8.0% year-on-year to record 28,048 tonnes in November 2022.

Moving forward, the Malaysian economy is anticipated to experience a modest growth tendency in 2023, signalled by the Leading Index as it decreased by 0.4% to 110.5 points in November 2022

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