Malaysia's economy expanded by 4.3 percent in the second quarter of this year compared with 4.1 percent in the first quarter, with firm domestic demand continued to support growth.

Bank Negara Governor, Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, said while domestic demand remained strong, the overall growth performance was affected by the weak external demand. The net export, which contributed to the overall performance of the economy, was something like minus 36 percent.

The central bank governor said during the quarter, private consumption grew by 7.2 percent, supported by stable employment conditions and sustained wage growth in the domestic-oriented sectors. Meanwhile, public consumption growth improved by 11.1 percent, reflecting mainly higher government spending on supplies and services.

In the second quarter, inflation was at 1.8 percent as compared to 1.5 percent in the preceding quarter, due to price increased in the food and non-alcoholic beverages and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels categories.

Speaking at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on August 21, Governor Zeti said following the prolonged weaknesses in the external economy, the central bank has revised downward GDP 's growth for this year to 4.5-5 percent from 5-6 percent previously.

For the first half of this year, the average growth was already 4.2 percent, she said, emphasising that even though Malaysia will have an improvement in the second half of this year, the country may see a slightly modest growth than what was earlier anticipated.-VNA