GDP growth? What raw figures do not say

Can election season, it is natural for us to expect more positive news to come out from official (a.k.a. controlled) channels.

According to the Bank Negara Governor, Malaysia's GDP for Q3 2011 registered a 5.8 growth.

The question is, how many of us felt richer by 5.8%  during those 3 months?
Now the governor revealed that "public consumption expanded by 21.7% from 6.6% in Q2".

What this mean is that official GDP increased impressively because of government spending during Q3 was almost 4 times more than Q2! Interesting to note that the federal government is the biggest employer and anything they spend, with a deficit budget, will increase national debts (to be paid back by tax payers)

Some artiles about the national debt
"Angka yang mengerunkan..."
"Kerajaan Persekutuan hutang RM438 bilion atau 53% daripada KDNK!"

Now what did BN government spend in those past 3 months? Some of the answer is here

In August 2011, half month bonus to our bloated and underperforming civil servants (numbering 1.27 million persons) and RM500 special payment to 590,000 government pensioners cost us an estimated expenditure of RM2bil. Also duit raya was paid to Felda settlers.

If the 5.8% was meant to make BN look good, it merely highlighted yet again the uncontrolled spending of BN administration. 5% is also the magic figure in 2012 budget where so many quarter questioned the over optimistic estimation (MIER included) hence going by Q3 2011 logic, Najib/we tax payers have to pay not so special bonus every quarter to reach his magic 5% for 2012 then.

"higher expenditure of emouluments, supplies and services..."? The some of the supplies and services that contribute some of this 5.8% will appear in next year's Auditor General's report. More binocular purchases?

May be there will be more Feedlotgate too; condo buying from food security fund (hey KJ, that public fund IS for food security, not investment the way, who did Feedlot buy from and who will Feedlot sell to in the future and at what price?)

So GDP is mainly driven by unjustified bonuses and continuing uncontrollable spending.  Since the federal government is the biggest employer and consumer, spending 21.7% higher and the national average is merely 5.3%,  other sectors must have registered lower growth hence the national average have been pulled down then. 

When you read the jabatan statistic report below, more tell tale signs will emerged.

The Residential sub-sector continued to grow by double-digit supported mainly by construction of high-end property.

The Private Final Consumption Expenditure grew by 7.3 per cent mainly supported by expenditure on food & non-alcoholic beverages, communication and transport.

A decline of 6.1 per cent was registered in this quarter as compared to the negative 9.2 per cent in preceding quarter. The contraction was due to the decline in the production of Crude Oil (10.8 per cent), Condensate (5.8 per cent) and Natural Gas (0.6 per cent).
The above 3 points mean:

* while most people feel that house prices are beyond their reaches, high ended property is being constructed for the super rich niche, speculators with some risk of unsold units. Unsold units could turn into credit risks for commercial banks that re-invest our deposits

* private consumption expenditure increase could well mean inflation and higher consumer credit is being taken up as people are forced to borrow more to pay day to day expenses (e.g forced to buy a car and reduce take home pay further)

* Gulp, the petrol revenue which BN government depend on to finance their deficit budget have declined. Petrol revenue is always a key component to national income.


  1. Have you ever heard of making up the figures yourself just so you will look good, after all you have the control of every department and above all the appointment of who to head the department.
    As such the so called heads of departments will do what you want, just like the immigration department who can delete the records of who has entered the country. The deletion of the mongolian visitors who has taken the C4 from the ministry of defense. Who can have the authority to delete the immigration records and who can have access to the C4, it is not as though they are easily accessible and available to Tom, Dick and Harry.
    To date no one is found to be guilty of any of the above misdoing and the issues are buried but the immigration records are in the hard drive just waiting to be found.
    The above were only a few examples what can be done when you are in power and also the lackeys appointed to run after them. These lackeys do not bite the hands that feed them we all know and remember that when the GE comes around.

  2. Charleskwi, you just nailed it. :-)

    some economics 101: there are a few ways to compute GDP. One way is the production approach, the other is the expenditure approach. Note Zeti's words, "higher public expenditure" just above the red box.

    basically, by borrowing and spending more, the figures do move up

    wee tak