Malaysia’s current account balance (CAB) continued to post a surplus of RM4.3 billion or 1.0% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2023 (Q1 2023), down from RM27.5 billion (5 .9% of GDP) in the previous quarter.
Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said this quarter’s CAB surplus was mainly supported by net exports of goods.
“The Goods account recorded a net export of RM39.9bn in Q1 2023, which contracted 30.9% QoQ.
“Exports of goods amounted to RM261.5 billion, a decrease of 17.6% compared to the last quarter of 2022,” it said in a statement today.
Mohd Uzir shared that the main exports were electrical and electronic (E&E) and petroleum and chemical products, especially to Singapore, China and the United States (US).
At the same time, imports of goods fell 14.6% qoq to RM221.6bn. Malaysia’s main imports were intermediate, capital and consumer goods, particularly from China, Singapore and Taiwan.
“The Services account posted a larger deficit of RM12.8 billion in Q1 2023, as Travel witnessed a lower surplus and Construction turned from a surplus to posting a deficit.
“Exports of services were valued at RM41.0 billion compared to RM43.8 billion in the previous quarter,” it added.
Meanwhile, the financial account posted a net outflow of RM2.4 billion compared to RM1.1 billion in the previous quarter.
“This was mainly due to outflows from portfolio investments at RM33.3 billion and financial derivatives at RM0.9 billion.
“Other investment posted a lower net inflow of RM20.9bn compared to RM36.6bn in the previous quarter, while direct investment posted a net inflow of RM10.9bn against a net outflow of RM9.3bn in the previous quarter. last quarter of last year”, explained Mohd Uzir.
Direct Investment Abroad (DIA) posted a net outflow of RM1.1 billion compared to RM28.5 billion in Q4 2022.
The main contributors to the outflow were services, particularly in the electricity sector, followed by the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. DIA’s top three destinations were Singapore, the US and Vietnam.
“Meanwhile, there was a lower net inflow of RM12.0 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) compared to RM19.2 billion in the previous quarter.
Services were the largest sector for FDI predominantly in financial activities, followed by the mining and quarrying and manufacturing sectors.
“The main sources of FDI were from Mauritius, Switzerland and Hong Kong,” he said.
Regarding the cumulative investment, Mohd Uzir said, “As of the end of Q1 2023, the FDI position registered RM893.2 billion while the DIA position was RM617 billion.
“Malaysia’s international investment position recorded a net asset of RM84.5 billion, while
Malaysia’s international reserves stood at RM509.8 billion,” he added.