The Malaysian economy expanded by 4.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016, led by private sector activities. Bank Negara Malaysia, in releasing the data, said the manufacturing and service sectors continued to drive growth during the period between October and December.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian economy expanded by 4.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016, led by private sector activities.

Bank Negara Malaysia, in releasing the data, said the manufacturing and service sectors continued to drive growth during the period between October and December.

The economy recorded a 4.2 per cent growth for the whole year, in line with a New Straits Times poll.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy recorded a sustained growth of 1.4 per cent.

The manufacturing sector expanded at a faster pace owing to higher growth in both domestic and export-oriented industries, said the central bank.

The mining sector recorded an improvement due to the increase of natural gas production during the quarter.

Private consumption grew by 6.2 per cent, supported by continued wage and employment growth while private investment registered a growth of 4.9 per cent, following continued capital spending in the services and manufacturing sectors.

Public consumption also declined by 4.2 per cent arising from the rationalisation of spending on supplies and services and a moderation in the growth of spending on emoluments.

In the fourth quarter, the current account surplus widened, due mainly to a higher trade surplus and narrower deficits in the income accounts.

On the outlook for 2017, it said the Malaysian economy will experience sustained growth with the primary driver being domestic demand.

"Private consumption is anticipated to remain supported by wage and employment growth, with additional impetus coming from announced government measures to support disposable income of households."

Investment activity will continue to be anchored by the ongoing implementation of infrastructure projects and capital spending in the manufacturing and services sectors.

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