ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Malaysian growth slows in third quarter
Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the more modest performance in the quarter would not seriously dent the recovery of the export-dependent economy.
"The economy has continued to remain on a recovery path. We're very likely to have growth of six to seven percent this year," she told reporters.
Zeti attributed the slower growth to weaker global demand for electrical and electronic products, particularly semiconductors.
The economy grew at a robust 8.9 percent year-on-year in the second quarter after posting a strong 10.1 percent in the first quarter.
Malaysia, Southeast Asia's third-largest economy, was hit hard by the global slowdown and its economy shrank 1.7 percent last year.
Zeti warned there was increasing uncertainty over the sustainability of global economic recovery.
"Amid the moderation in global recovery, the pace of growth of the Malaysian economy will be influenced by the expected continued slowdown in external demand," the central bank said in a statement.
"Overall (Malaysia's) growth will continue to be supported by robust domestic economic activity."
Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is also the finance minister, on Monday said that Malaysia could achieve growth of above six percent this year despite the slower third quarter.
Zeti said growth in the third quarter was driven by domestic demand and supported by private spending while all major economic sectors expanded except for mining.
Inflation stood at 1.9 percent during the period due to higher prices for food and beverages.
She said that while the ringgit has appreciated by 5.5 percent against the US dollar during the quarter it "has not affected" Malaysia's growth and exports demand..
In September Malaysia unveiled an Economic Transformation Plan aimed at creating 3.3 million jobs and propelling the country towards developed-nation status over the next 10 years.
The government is trying to address a sharp decline in foreign direct investment, which fell 81 percent to US$1.4 billion in 2009 from US$7.3 billion in 2008.
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