Borneo Post, Photo Credit to Borneo Post
clock 23-10-2017
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Budget 2018: Possible Benefits for Malaysian Industries

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Last week, BizHive Weekly explored themes that could be explored for the Budget 2018 which will be announced on October 27.

Next year's Budget is an important event, given that most experts and analysts in the political field and market observers believe that Malaysia's general election is looming close.

Furthermore, 2018 marks the mid-point stage of the government's journey through the 11th Malaysian Plan (11MP) and the government has to step up its game in the race to achieve vision 2020.

Unlike previous years, however, analysts believe that for next year, Malaysia will be starting the year on better footing as the global economic conditions are improving and there were fewer volatilities seen this year and previous years.

The research arm of Maybank Investment Bank Bhd (Maybank IB Research) in its pre-budget 2018 report, highlighted: "In particular, we are having real gross domestic product (GDP) growth recovery so far this year compared with the slowdown recorded the last two years as the lifts in global economy and world trade fuel the rebound in exports, adding to the resilient and better-than-expected consumer spending growth.”

It also pointed out that with 2020 just a few short years away, there is also a need to identify Malaysia's progress in achieving key 11MP targets.

Meanwhile, AllianceDBS Research Sdn Bhd (AllianceDBS Research) said while improving macroeconomic data, especially domestic consumption recovery, robust export growth and continued government's spending on infrastructure, would be the key drivers for the Malaysian equity market, all eyes will be on the unveiling of Budget 2018 this month which will be the last budget before the 14th general election is due to be called latest by August 2018.

"We expect the government to continue its fiscal discipline but with the Brent crude oil prices on the rise following production cut led by OPEC, we believe the government will have some headroom for the forthcoming budget.

"That said, the focus will continue to be alleviating the livelihood of the bottom 40 percent households. We also highlight the trend that past general elections have coincided with strong consumer sentiment.

"As such, the forthcoming budget is expected to provide a boost to sustain the nascent consumer sentiment recovery before the 14th general election is called" it said, noting that incentives such as cash hand-outs, salary adjustments, affordable housings, and others could be key points to be highlighted in Budget 2018.

Besides these, it added education would also be a key focus of the government in raising productivity in its bid to become a high-income nation.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had also reiterated that the government will continue to focus on the people's economy, aside from addressing the need to balance the country with macro factors.

"We also talked about our country's economic position by taking into account several favourable macro-factors, including the second-quarter growth rate this year which reached 5.8 percent.

"We've achieved the largest amount of international reserves in our history … and also for the past two days, we've seen the strengthening of the ringgit becoming a reality" he told a press conference last month.

With all these themes expected to be a focus during Budget 2018, BizHive Weekly explores the sectors and industries that could be involved or could see a boost in budget allocations next year.

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