Najib: We are on track to meet 5% GDP growth


By Zuhrin Azam Ahmad, The Star

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is optimistic that the country will meet this year’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of between 5% and 6%.

The Prime Minister said despite the volatile global economy, there were signs that the GDP would meet the 5% growth.

“We decided to project the growth in a range of 5% to 6% as it was difficult to narrow it to one figure.

“Based on the current situation, we are expecting it to be closer to 5%, and as such, we are maintaining the target,” he said after chairing the National Financial Council meeting yesterday.

The country’s economic growth moderated to 4% year-on-year in the second quarter of the year, following a revised growth of 4.9% year-on-year in the preceding quarter due to weaker external environment.

Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said on Wednesday that based on the growth Malaysia has achieved so far, it was likely that the country’s GDP for the full year would expand by at least 5%.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the country’s inflation was manageable with the latest figures showing a slight decline.

“Several steps including reducing the price of chicken had some impact on the inflation situation. What we want is to achieve low inflation with encouraging economic growth,” he said.

Najib also said the target to reduce the fiscal deficit to 5.4% of the GDP this year was still on track.

On the meeting, Najib said the council had agreed to allocate RM318mil in 2013 including RM288mil as contribution to states based on economic development, infrastructure and well-being standards.

Later, writing in his blog, Najib said all input and ideas from participants in the Roundtable Session had been submitted to the Finance Ministry for consideration in the drawing up of the coming Budget.