The contribution of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the gross domestic product (GDP)expanded further to 32.7 per cent last year, compared to the 32.5 per cent recorded in 2011, the Statistics Department said.
The department, which released the National Accounts on SMEs from 2005 to 2012 today, said in current terms, the value added reached RM305 billion in 2012 as compared to RM288.7 billion previously.
In constant 2005 prices, the value added by SMEs rose to RM245.4 billion against RM231.5 billion in 2011, the department said in a statement today.
"SMEs recorded a strong growth of six per cent, while GDP grew at 5.6 per cent in 2012.
"The prime movers for SMEs were the services, manufacturing and construction sectors. Similarly, these were the sectors that underpinned the expansion of the GDP last year," it added.
The department said for services, the SMEs recorded a slower momentum of 5.9 per cent, as compared to 6.4 per cent of national growth.
This, it explained, was due to the moderate performance in finance, insurance, real estate and business services.
Meanwhile, SMEs in manufacturing grew six per cent, higher than the national growth which registered 4.8 per cent.
The positive improvement was supported particularly by plastic products under the sub-sector of petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products.
Food, beverages and tobacco also contributed to the growth
As for construction, both SMEs and national growth posted a double-digit improvement of 15.3 per cent and 18.1 per cent respectively.
Last year, Malaysia's economic growth was driven by three main sectors, namely, services, manufacturing and mining and quarrying.
Meanwhile for SMEs, following the different nature of businesses, agriculture was the third largest contributor after the services and manufacturing sectors.