Malaysia's economy expanded by an annual 5 percent in the third quarter of this year, bolstered by domestic demand and a significant turnaround in exports, according to Bank Negara Malaysia.

At the announcement ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on Nov. 15, Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said domestic demand grew by 8.3 percent while exports registered 1.7 percent growth compared to minus 5.2 percent in the second quarter. Exports, a critical part of the economy, have turned around after seven quarters of contraction.

Zeti said the headline inflation rate, as measured by the annual change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), was higher at 2.2 percent in the third quarter from 1.8 percent growth in the second quarter.

The increase was mainly attributed to higher inflation in the transport, food and non-alcoholic beverages categories.

Growth in most economic sectors improved in the third quarter, with the services and manufacturing sectors expanded further, supported by domestic demand and improvements in trade activities, she said, adding that the agriculture sector's growth was also higher, supported mainly by production of food crops.
In the third quarter, the country's current account surplus increased to 9.8 billion RM (3.06 billion USD), equivalent to 4.1 percent to gross national income (GNI), almost four folds from 2.6 billion RM in the second quarter.

The same day, the central bank revised second quarter growth to 4.4 percent from 4.3 percent but kept its full-year GDP forecast at 4.5-5.0 percent.-VNA