Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Husni: 2009 GDP growth to dip below -1%

The country’s economy is expected to contract below -1.0 % this year amid the current economic climate, Second Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah said.

“I cannot tell you (the growth figure) but it will definitely be below -1.0 %,” he said when asked to comment on the projection by economists that the gross domestic product (GDP) will contract between -4.5 % and -5.0 % this year. Bank Negara Malaysia’s GDP forecast for the year is between -1.0 % and %.

Bank Negara will make an announcement on the first quarter GDP tomorrow.

“Wait for Bank Negara’s announcement tomorrow. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will make another announcement the next day on the new forecast growth for 2009 and we will then know the position of the country’s economy,” he said.

Husni, however said that the economy would recover in the third quarter of this year, as the impact of the recent RM67 billion economic stimulus package begins to take effect.

As for 2010, he said the government believes growth would be positive. Asked as to whether there would be more liberalization measures in the near future, Husni said that the government is currently working on the development of new economic model for the country.

“The economic model is in the planning stage,” he said, adding that the government would study which areas should be further liberalized. He said that the key thrust of the new model is the quality of investment and the people.

“Eventually, we will be opening up because we are part of the global system but the process of the liberalization takes time,” he added.

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