Malaysia revises GDP growth for 2015 to 4.5%-5.5%

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Tuesday revised GDP growth for 2015 to between 4.5 to 5.5 per cent from 5 to 6 per cent .

He also said the current weak global oil prices would lead to a deficit of RM13.8 billion (S$5.16 billion) in Budget 2015.

Budget 2015, when tabled in October last year, had a projected expenditure of RM273.9 billion in expenditure and RM235.2 billion in revenue. It was pegged to oil prices of around US$100 (S$133) per barrel.

The slide in prices, which has drastically affected the ringgit's value as Malaysia is an oil exporter, has seen calls by economists for Putrajaya to revise the budget.

Malaysia also increased its fiscal deficit target to 3.2 per cent of gross domestic product for 2015, as the government needed to adjust its Budget due to a sharp fall in earnings from oil and gas, Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced on Tuesday.

He said the revised budget would assume a global oil price of around US$55 a barrel. The original budget had targeted a reduction in the fiscal deficit to 3 per cent this year, from 3.5 per cent last year.

Mr Najib said Malysia was not facing an economic crisis, but the government needed to adjust to the change in circumstances due to the fall in global oil prices.

REUTERS