KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 – MIDF Research is optimistic that Malaysia’s external trade will recover steadily in 2024, with exports increasing 5.2 per cent year-on-year, underpinned by growing global demand and stable commodity prices.

“The expected turnaround of Malaysia’s exports is one of the factors to support the appreciation of the ringgit in 2024, averaging at RM4.38 per US$1 (versus an average rate of US$1= RM4.56 in 2023),” it said in a note on Monday.

MIDF Research, the research unit of MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd, said this after Malaysia registered a higher S&P Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) of 49.5 in February 2024, which was the highest reading since September 2022.

The improvement in Malaysia’s manufacturing PMI signals a further expansionary external trade performance in the coming months, it noted. 

Additionally, it expected regional trade, particularly in Asia, to stay on an upward trajectory given that China’s Caixin Manufacturing PMI surged to a six-month high of 50.9 in February 2023, beating the market forecast of 50.6. 


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