Bank Negara governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus announced Malaysia’s economy expanded by 4.4 per cent in the third quarter of this year. NSTP photo by ASYRAF HAMZAH

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.4 per cent in the third quarter (Q3) 2019, slower than 4.9 per cent growth recorded in Q2.

Today, Bank Negara Malaysia governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the slower growth was primarily due to lower growth in key sectors and a decline in the mining and construction activities.

In a media briefing, she said on the demand side, most domestic demand components and net exports registered slower growth momentum.

Meanwhile, Shamsiah said headline inflation had averaged higher in Q3 at 1.3 per cent compared to 0.7 per cent in Q2, mainly reflecting the lapse in the impact from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) zerorisation between June and August last year.

She said core inflation, excluding the impact of consumption tax policy changes, was steady at 1.5 per cent.

Shamsiah said full-year growth was expected to be within projections of between 4.3 per cent and 4.8 per cent, and the pace should sustain going into 2020.

“This is underpinned mainly by private sector activity, particularly household spending, which is supported by continued expansion in employment and income,” she said.

The Malaysian economy registered an average growth of 4.6 per cent in the first three quarters of 2019.

Shamsiah said headline inflation in 2020 was expected to average higher than this year but remain modest.

“This reflects the lapse in the impact of consumption tax policy changes, the lifting of the fuel price ceilings amid the relatively subdued outlook on global oil prices and policy measures in place to contain food prices.

“Underlying inflation is expected to remain stable, supported by continued expansion in economic activity and in the absence of strong demand pressures,” she said.