Unravelling the figures

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How to read the 2009 Bank Negara Report.

Official numbers for the Malaysian economy are released twice every year, in March by Bank Negara Malaysia and on Budget day in September by the Federal Treasury. The number that gets the most attention and is most hotly debated is the growth of the gross domestic product or GDP, which is usually attributed to how well exports are doing. On occasions, the rate of inflation gets mentioned. Regardless, GDP growth is reported as real (adjusted for inflation), as opposed to nominal economic growth. Still, concerns remain whether the consumer price index or CPI has been underestimated, which would make actual GDP growth smaller than officially reported.


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