KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 (Bernama) — Malaysia registered a strong economic growth of 5.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2015, with the private sector remaining the anchor of growth, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz on Friday.
She said the Malaysian economy remained resilient with a gross domestic product (GDP) value of RM277.2 billion in the quarter under review.
Malaysia reported a GDP growth of 5.7 per cent in the last quarter of last year and a 6.3 per cent growth in the January-March quarter of 2014.
“Private consumption expanded at a stronger pace of 8.8 per cent (in Q1 2015) compared with 7.6 per cent growth registered in the fourth quarter of 2014 supported by stable labour market conditions and higher wage growth,” she told a press conference to announce the performance.
Zeti added that the strong private consumption growth was also contributed by the flood relief efforts early in the year and the front-loading of household spending prior to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
On private investment, she said it recorded a growth of 11.7 per cent (4Q2014: 11.1 per cent), underpinned by capital expenditure in the manufacturing and services sectors.
Meanwhile, public investment turned around to register a positive growth of 0.5 per cent (4Q2014: -1.9 per cent) following higher capital spending by the Federal government, said Zeti.
Inflation, as measured by the annual change in the consumer price index (CPI), averaged significantly lower at 0.7 per cent in Q1 (4Q2014: 2.8 per cent), mainly attributable to the decline in prices in the transport category following lower global prices.
The trade surplus amounted to RM21.3 billion in the Q1 while international reserves of BNM amounted to RM389.7 billion as at March 31, 2015.
Malaysia GDP now is re-based to 2010 as the base year, said the Governor, a planned periodic exercise and is in line with international best practices.
In constant 2010 prices, Malaysia’s GDP for Q1 registered a value of RM254.4 billion, and on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted, the economy grew at 1.2 per cent.