KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy grew at a slower pace of 4.2% in the first quarter of 2016, due to slower growth in the manufacturing and services sectors, but the overall growth was still above economists’ forecast of a subdued 4% growth.
The Statistics Department said on Friday the growth of 4.2% was slower when compared with the 5.7% growth a year ago. It was also slower than the 4.5% expansion in the fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2015.
â€œOn a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted, the GDP for first quarter of 2016 grew 1.0%,â€ it said.
In the Q1, 2016, all sectors on the production side posted a positive growth except for agriculture. The continuous expansion in the dervices, manufacturing and construction has led the growth and remained as the main catalyst.
In a separate statement, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said the services sector grew 5.1% in Q1, 2016 from 6.4% a year ago, manufacturing expanded 4.5% from 5.6% a year ago also. As for mining, it shrunk to grow at 0.3% only from 9&.
Construction expanded at a slower pace of 7.9% from 9.6% while agriculture’s contribution was -3.8% from -4.1% a year ago.
The Statistics Department said on the expenditure side, the economy was spearheaded by private final consumption expenditure and government final consumption expenditure.
â€œThe expansion in both consumptions has offset the sluggish performance in external demand,â€ the department said.
Malaysia’s value of GDP in current terms for Q1, 2016 amounted to RM291bil.
Q1 2016 GDP versus Q4 2015
The services sector expanded at 5.1% (Q4, 2015: 5.0%) supported by the wholesale & retail trade (5.2%) and information & communication (8.5%).
The manufacturing sector grew 4.5% (Q4, 2015: 5.0%) supported by the electrical, electronic & optical products
(5.7%), mainly in semiconductors, computers and peripheral equipments.
The department said this sector performance’s was further supported by petroleum, chemical, rubber & plastic products that grew 2.7% (Q4, 2015: 1.4%) following a turnaround in refined petroleum products and expansion in chemical and plastic products.
Construction sector rose at a faster rate of 7.9% (Q4, 2015: 7.4%). Civil Engineering sustained its double-digit momentum bgrowth of 17.5% though slower from the preceeding quarter (Q4 2015: 20.4%) and continued to support the construction sector.
In terms of expenditure, the department said private final consumption expenditure rose to 5.3% (Q4, 2015: 4.9%) underpinned by consumption of food & beverages, housing & utilities, communication and transportation.
But gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) eased to 0.1% (Q4 2015: 2.7%) due to the deceleration in machinery &
equipment (-7.1%) as well as other asset (-3.3%).
While the public sector (share: 30.1%) contracted 4.5% which has influenced towards the moderation of GFCF in this quarter, the private sector posted a growth of 2.2% (Q4 2015: 4.9%).