Malaysia saw exports in July increase 3.5% from a year earlier as demand for electrical and electronic goods surged, government data showed on Friday.
According to the median forecast from a Reuters poll, economists had forecast exports would rise 3.2% on the back of a weakening ringgit currency, although individual estimates varied.
Exports of manufactured products helped boost July's figure as demand for electronic integrated circuits grew, especially from China.
Despite a weaker ringgit, imports did much better than expected, rising 5.9% from last year due to increases in imports of electronic circuits, petroleum oils and medicament. Economists had predicted a 0.8% drop.
This is the first increase for imports after three consecutive months of decline since the government implemented a consumption-based Goods and Services Tax (GST) in April. The ringgit is the worst performing emerging Asian currency this year, having fallen more than 17% this year.
The trade surplus in July dropped to RM2.38 billion (US$559.9 million) from RM7.98 billion in June.
Exports to China increased 32.7%, while US exports grew 20.2%, underpinned by demand from the manufactured goods sector. – Reuters, September 4, 2015.