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Better forecast for second half, says Zeti

KUALA LUMPUR, 15 April 2009: The effects of the fiscal stimulus package and the supportive monetary environment will put the country’s economy in a better position in the second half of the year, Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said today.

She said even though external economies were contracting, the domestic economy was still growing.

“There is a need to sustain the domestic economy,” she said.

The first quarter of this year was impacted by contractions in external economies which have taken a toll on the country’s exports, she said.

“The effects of the (negative) global developments surfaced in the first and second quarters of the year. Our export numbers have shown that,” she told reporters after the launch of the Interbank Murabahah Master Agreement.

Asked whether there was a need to revise the gross domestic product (GDP), she said: “Right now we have made assumptions that the second half will stabilise and that the fiscal stimulus will be implemented.

“In the current environment our projection is more or less a flat growth because of the contractions of the external environment and it is being offset by domestic demand,” she said.

To a question whether the economy will bottom up, Dr Zeti said: “It is not clear yet what is the direction of the global economy.

“We are seeing some stabilisation taking place. This is very encouraging but we still have to wait and see because of the financial sector resolution in many of the advanced countries which still need to take place before we see stabilisation occurring,” she added. — Bernama

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