Malaysia's export growth slows
KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's exports in June grew 10 per cent from a year earlier, government data showed yesterday, well below expectations, as shipments of manufactured goods fell.
Export growth was sharply down from May's 32.5 per cent.
June's import growth fell sharply to 3.7 per cent from a year earlier, down from the 30.4 per cent growth in May.
The trade surplus in June widened to RM9.9 billion (S$3.1 billion) from May's RM5.5 billion.
Malaysia reports trade data in ringgit. The currency has been one of Asia's best-performing ones this year, strengthening about 3 per cent in the second quarter.
Australia expects stronger growth
SYDNEY • Australia's central bank is more confident that economic growth will accelerate over the next two years but expects little improvement in unemployment or wage growth, suggesting official interest rates are on hold for some time.
In its 66-page statement on monetary policy yesterday, the Reserve Bank of Australia forecast the A$1.7 trillion (S$1.8 trillion) economy will grow "above potential" at around 3 per cent over the next couple of years.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed retailers enjoyed sales growth of 1.5 per cent from April to June, their best quarter in four years. There are some signs of life in the labour market too. Since the start of the year, around 165,000 full-time jobs have been created.