Malaysia Q1 GDP growth rises strongly

Dhaka,  Tue,  22 August 2017
Published : 19 May 2017, 13:21:21
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Malaysia Q1 GDP growth rises on solid exports, domestic demand

Malaysia Q1 GDP growth rises strongly
Malaysia's economy grew at a better-than-expected 5.6 per cent the first quarter, easily beating expectations, as buoyant exports and solid domestic demand produced the fastest growth in two years.

January-March growth, announced by the central bank on Friday, was well above a Reuters poll forecast of 4.8 per cent and the previous quarter's 4.5 per cent expansion.

"We expect growth to be sustained," Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Muhammad Ibrahim told at a news conference.

He said the central bank was keeping its full-year growth forecast at 4.3-4.8 per cent. In the first quarter, he said, it saw "strong growth in private investments and exports".

March exports surged 24.1 per cent from a year earlier in ringgitterms, and those in February 26.5 per cent.

But the current account surplus, which has generally been decreasing, narrowed in the first quarter to 5.3 billion ringgit from 12.5 billion ringgit in 2016's last period, due to lower goods surplus and larger services deficit.

Portfolio investments saw a big net outflow of 31.9 billion ringgit, compared to a 19.1 billion outflow in the fourth quarter.

Capital outflows hit a record in November-January, when foreign investors divested holdings of government bonds to the tune of 27.9 billion ringgit ($6.46 billion), according to Reuters.
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