Malaysia’s economy grew 5.6 percent in the first quarter of this year, driven by stronger domestic demand and rising investment in the private sector, according to statistics from the Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM).

The figure is slightly higher than the 5.5 percent growth forecast by economic experts.

BNM’s Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the country reached 277.2 billion RM (77.7 billion USD) in the period.

Private consumption expanded at a stronger pace at 8.8 percent while private investments grew by 11.7 percent.

Zeti said Malaysia’s inflation in the first quarter stood at 0.7 percent, down from the 2.8 percent in the previous three months due to the lower price of transportation means.

The current trade surplus improved to 21.3 billion RM (5.9 billion USD) while BNM’s international reserves reached 389.7 billion RM (105 billion USD), enough for 8 months of export.

Earlier in March, BNM forecast Malaysia’s GDP would grow 4.5-5.5 percent in 2015.-VNA