Malaysia 1Q GDP Growth Fastest in 2 Years at 5.6%

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysia's economy grew at its fastest pace in two years in the first three months of 2017, powered by strong domestic demand, higher exports and a rise in manufacturing activity.

It was also the third consecutive quarter of growth and beat expectations. Gross domestic product rose 5.6% in the three months ended March 31 from a year earlier, according to the country's central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, on Friday.

The figure for the first quarter exceeded the 4.5% growth recorded in the fourth quarter of last year. It was also better than the median 4.6% growth forecast by 11 economists polled earlier by The Wall Street Journal.

The first-quarter economic growth was the fastest since the first quarter of 2015, when GDP grew 5.6% from a year earlier. On a sequential basis, a closer measure of the economy's recent momentum, Malaysia's economy grew 1.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis in the latest quarter.

1st Qtr 4th Qtr

Gross Domestic Product +5.6% +4.5%

Manufacturing +5.6% +4.7%

Services Sector +5.8% +5.5%

Mining Sector +1.6% +5.0%

Agriculture Sector +8.3% -2.5%

Construction Sector +6.5% +5.1%

Private Sector Consumption +6.6% +6.1%

Write to Yantoultra Ngui at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 19, 2017 00:14 ET (04:14 GMT)