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Malaysia
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Economy

Economy - overview: Malaysia made a quick economic recovery in 1999 from its worst recession since independence in 1957. GDP grew 5%, responding to a dynamic export sector, which grew over 10% and fiscal stimulus from higher government spending. The large export surplus has enabled the country to build up its already substantial financial reserves, to $31 billion at yearend 1999. This stable macroeconomic environment, in which both inflation and unemployment stand at 3% or less, has made possible the relaxation of most of the capital controls imposed by the government in 1998 to counter the impact of the Asian financial crisis. Government and private forecasters expect Malaysia to continue this trend in 2000, predicting GDP to grow another 5% to 6%. While Malaysia's immediate economic horizon looks bright, its long-term prospects are clouded by the lack of reforms in the corporate sector, particularly those dealing with competitiveness and high corporate debt.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $229.1 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 5% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $10,700 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 12%
industry: 46%
services: 42% (1998)

Population below poverty line: 6.8% (1997 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.4%
highest 10%: 20.4% (1997 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.8% (1999)

Labor force: 9.3 million (1999 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: manufacturing 27%, agriculture, forestry, and fisheries 16%, local trade and tourism 17%, services 15%, government 10%, construction 9% (1999 est.)

Unemployment rate: 3% (1999 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $23.2 billion
expenditures: $27.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999)

Industries: Peninsular Malaysia - rubber and oil palm processing and manufacturing, light manufacturing industry, electronics, tin mining and smelting, logging and processing timber; Sabah - logging, petroleum production; Sarawak - agriculture processing, petroleum production and refining, logging

Industrial production growth rate: 8.5% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production: 57.435 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 94.78%
hydro: 5.22%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 53.423 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 75 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 83 million kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: Peninsular Malaysia - rubber, palm oil, rice; Sabah - subsistence crops, rubber, timber, coconuts, rice; Sarawak - rubber, pepper; timber

Exports: $83.5 billion (1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: electronic equipment, petroleum and liquefied natural gas, chemicals, palm oil, wood and wood products, rubber, textiles

Exports - partners: US 23%, Singapore 16%, Japan 11%, Hong Kong 5%, Netherlands 5%, Taiwan 5%, Thailand 3% (1999 est.)

Imports: $61.5 billion (1999 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, food, fuel and lubricants

Imports - partners: Japan 21%, US 18%, Singapore 14%, Taiwan 5%, South Korea 5%, Thailand 4%, China 3% (1999 est.)

Debt - external: $43.6 billion (1999 est.)

Currency: 1 ringgit (M$) = 100 sen

Exchange rates: ringgits (M$) per US$1 - 3.8000 (January 2000), 3.8000 (1999), 3.9244 (1998), 2.8133 (1997), 2.5159 (1996), 2.5044 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year



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