Thursday, May 9, 2013

Malaysia holds rate on steady growth, modest inflation

    Malaysia's central bank held its benchmark Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) rate steady at 3.0 percent, as expected, saying this stance was appropriate in light of steady domestic growth and inflation that is expected to continue rise modestly.
    The Central Bank of Malaysia, which has held rates steady since June 2011, said domestic supply and costs are expected to push prices higher, but "given the modest global growth prospects, pressures from global commodity prices are likely to be contained."
    At its previous meeting in March, the bank's Monetary Policy Committee made the same observation about the outlook for inflation.
    Malaysia's inflation rate rose slightly to 1.6 percent in March from February.
    Domestic demand is continuing to support Malaysia's economy and investment activity and consumption have remained firm and the bank expects this to continue.
    The central bank forecasts growth of 5-6 percent in 2013 compared with 5.6 percent in 2012 and 5.1 percent in 2011.

    The central bank described the momentum in global growth as "modest" and the recovery uneven and there are still downside risks as growth in advanced countries is constrained by fiscal consolidation, while domestic demand continues to support growth in Asia.
    "Despite the improvements in international financial market conditions, markets remain vulnerable to setbacks and changes in sentiment," Malaysia's central bank said.


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