KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysia's export growth likely slowed in March, though it will still be strong on the back of improving shipments to major trade partners, economists said.
Exports likely rose 20.5% in March from a year earlier, according to the median forecast from a poll of seven economists. That compares with February's 26.5% rise--the fastest annual pace in nearly seven years--and January's 13.6% increase.
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"Our take is that the external demand is likely to do well in the first quarter of 2017 as demand from abroad appear to be improving despite the uncertainties on various fronts," said Dr. Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid, chief economist at Kuala Lumpur-based Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd.
Imports in March likely climbed 28.2% from a year earlier, according to the poll. Imports rose 27.7% in February, driven by intermediate and capital goods.
The trade surplus is expected to expand to 9.50 billion ringgit ($2.2 billion) in March, according to the poll, from MYR8.71 billion in February.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 03, 2017 22:24 ET (02:24 GMT)