Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bank Negara sees economy improving in 2nd half

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 – Bernama

The effect of the fiscal stimulus and supportive monetary environment will put the country’s economy in a better position in the second half of the year, Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said today.

She also noted that although the external economies were experiencing contraction, the domestic economy is still growing.

“There is a need to sustain the domestic economy,” said Dr Zeti.

The first quarter of this year, however, is very much affected by contraction in external economies, which has affected the country’s export, she said.

“The effect of the (negative) global developments showed up in the first and second quarters of the year. Our export numbers are bad,” she told reporters after the launching the Interbank Murabahah Master Agreement here, today.

Asked whether there was a need to revise the gross domestic product (GDP), she said: “Right now we have made assumptions that the second half will stabilise and that the fiscal stimulus will be implemented.

“In the current environment our projection is more or less a flat growth because of the contractions of the external environment and it is being offset by domestic demand,” she said.

To a question on whether the economy will bottom out, Dr Zeti said: “It is not clear yet and what is the direction of the global economy.

“We are seeing some stabilisation taking place. This is very encouraging but we still have to wait and see because of the financial sector resolution in many of the advanced countries which still need to take place before we see stabilisation occurring,” she added.

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