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KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — Malaysia’s exports and imports are expected to grow at 7.3 per cent and 7.5 per cent, respectively, this year, as external trade is expected to maintain its positive momentum, says JF Apex Securities Bhd.

It said external trade would be driven by the manufacturing sector, backed by strong global trade activities and meaningful recovery in commodity prices.

While overall external trade was expected to remain positive, growth would be at a slower pace, as the prevailing trade war between the United States and China could derail global trade and hence affect export performance, it said in a research note.

Meanwhile, JF Apex said Malaysia’s exports in March 2018 exceeded consensus expectation, growing 2.2 per cent, year-on-year, (y-o-y) to RM84.5 billion, mainly supported by steady exports to Hong Kong, the European Union and India.

Imports in March 2018 contracted to 9.63 per cent, y-o-y, marginally below market expectation mainly due to subdued growth in all main components.

“As such, the country’s trade surplus registered the highest value since October 2008 at RM14.7 billion, a 172 per cent increase, y-o-y,” it added. — Bernama

Photo Credit: Malay Mail