According to estimates, Malaysian economy grew in the first quarter

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s economy is estimated to grow 3.9% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2024, driven by growth in the services sector, official preliminary figures showed on Friday.

Preliminary estimates released by the statistics agency compared this with an annual growth rate of 3.0% in the final quarter of 2023, when weak exports weighed on growth.

Malaysia’s chief statistician Mohd Ujirmahidin said all major sectors recorded positive growth in the first quarter of 2024, led by the services sector, which grew by 4.4% year-on-year.

“(This was) supported by the wholesale and retail trade, transportation and storage, and business services subsectors,” he said in a statement Friday.

The manufacturing sector rebounded to 1.9% growth in the first quarter of this year from a 0.3% contraction in the final quarter of 2023, while the agricultural sector rose 1.3% year-on-year in the same period, led by oil palm and livestock. Mohd Uzil said:

Separate data released by the Ministry of Trade on Friday showed Malaysia’s exports fell by 0.8% in March compared to the same month last year, and fell by the same amount in February.

The central bank last month predicted exports would rise 5% in 2024, recovering from an 8% contraction last year.

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