That full year number is irrelevant – it is heavily influenced by the record oil prices and benign global economy earlier this year. The pertinent figure is what’s happening currently. And going by our Finance Minister’s 5% number, it’s not looking good.
GDP growth was over 6% for the 9 months up to Sept 08 (9M08). Now we’re told it’ll be 5% for the full year. Simple maths tells us this suggests just 1.2% growth for the last 3 months of the year (4Q08) – a very sharp slowdown!
Our GDP growth has been decelerating:
The BN government targets 3.5% growth in 2009. Against this backdrop, do you think that’s achievable? I take no pleasure in bearing bad news. But pretending things are fine will not help us. The crunch will be much worse when it hits if we are unprepared. The sooner we accept reality and the faster we take remedial measures the higher the chances for us to alleviate some of the pain.
PS: I'll be participating at "The New Economic Vision for Penang and Malaysia" conference at the Traders Hotel this Friday and Saturday. My panel slot at 2pm Friday is on "Moving up the Value Added Ladder." And after hours I look forward to the Jazz Festival and Alleycats!