Malaysia's exports grew at a slower-than-expected pace as gains in shipments of electrical goods and electronics were partly offset by a drop exports of timber and refined petroleum products.
Exports from the third-largest economy in Southeast Asia rose 10% from a year ago, according to Malaysia's Department of Statistics on Friday. A Wall Street Journal poll of economists had forecast a 16.5% gain. In May, exports grew 32.5% compared with a year ago.
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Electrical and electronic products, which accounted for 38.3% of total exports, increased 15.1% in June from a year earlier. Shipments of refined petroleum products fell 15.7% from a year earlier, according to a statement. Exports of timber and timber-based products fell 3.7% from a year earlier.
The pace of growth in June was the slowest on-year gain this year though exports have increased by double digits for seven straight months. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, exports fell 9.2% in June, suggesting the momentum in exports is beginning to weaken.
Exports are an important driver of the Malaysian economy. Solid manufacturing and exports helped Malaysia's economy expand 5.6% in the first three months of 2017, its fastest pace in two years.
Exports to China, one of Malaysia's largest trading partners, jumped 27.3% in June from a year ago. Exports to Singapore rose 9.1%.
Imports rose 3.7% in June from a year earlier, driven by higher imports of intermediate goods and capital goods. The gain in overall imports was offset by a 5.2% on-year decline in imports of consumption goods, according to the statement. The poll of economists had predicted an 18.2% increase. Imports grew 30.4% in May from a year earlier.
The trade surplus rose to 9.9 billion ringgit ($2.3 billion) in June from MYR5.49 billion in May. The poll had tipped a surplus of MYR5.50 billion.
Write to Saurabh Chaturvedi at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 04, 2017 00:21 ET (04:21 GMT)