KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 – The country’s economic growth recorded last year had exceeded an initial projection of between 5.2 per cent and 5.7 per cent, to 5.9 per cent.
Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said the achievement was supported by growth in the private sector and increase in external demand.
From the latter, the service sector contributed 5.4 per cent, while manufacturing recorded 23 per cent.
“For this year, the economy is expected to remain solid with growth between 5 per cent and 5.5 per cent, in line with improved world economy and trade.
“This (expectation) is supported by a growth forecast by International Monetary Fund at 5.3 per cent,” Johari said during a winding up on the debate on the motion of thanks of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V’s royal address.
Johari said the solid economic position had indirectly kept the unemployment rate low at 3.4 per cent.
He pointed out increment in salary in the service sector had increased from 3.4 per cent in 2016 to 5.4 last year.
“In the manufacturing sector, salary and fee rates increased from 6.2 per cent in 2016 to 8.6 per cent last year,” Johari said, adding that household income had also increased from RM2,841 in 2009 to RM5,228 at present.
On a separate note, Johari said the government had allowed housewives contribute to Employees Providence Fund through the 1Malaysia Retirement savings scheme.
“Each housewife can contribute from RM50 to RM60,000 a year.”