October 27, 2017 / 9:47 AM / in 24 days

Highlights: Malaysia's 2018 budget

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Prime Minister Najib Razak announced Malaysia’s 2018 budget on Friday, laying out government plans to tackle rising costs and to contain the country’s fiscal deficit.

The government also on Friday released its annual economic report.

Following are some highlights from Najib’s speech and the economic report:

BUDGET

- Proposed budget stands at 280.25 bln ringgit, a rise of 7.5 pct from 2017

- 2018 revenue collection to expand around 6.4 pct to 239.9 bln ringgit

- Fiscal deficit expected at 2.8 pct of GDP for 2018, compared with 3.0 pct this year

- “What is important is govt maintain fiscal consolidation target,” Najib says

- 234.25 bln ringgit for operating expenditure, 46 bln ringgit for development

- An allocation of 6.5 bln ringgit for rural infrastructure development

- 6.8 bln ringgit to be allocated to govt cash aid program BR1M

TAXES

- Income tax to be cut by 2 percentage points for those earning 20,000–70,000 ringgit annually

SUBSIDIES

- 3.9 bln ringgit for goods and transport subsidies including for cooking oil and gas, flour, electricity and tolls

MACRO ECONOMY

- Malaysia 2018 GDP forecast of 5.0-5.5 pct growth, 5.2-5.7 pct seen for 2017

- 2018 inflation forecast at 2.5-3.5 pct, and 3.0-4.0 pct in 2017

- Malaysia sees exports up 16.6 pct this year, then climbing 3.4 pct in 2018

- Current account surplus seen at 32.9 bln rgt for 2018, 32.3 bln rgt forecast for 2017

Reporting by Kuala Lumpur Bureau; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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