Malaysia’s economy grows 4.5% in first quarter, faster than forecast

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s economy expanded 4.5% in the first quarter from a year earlier, supported by private sector consumption and a recovery in palm oil production, the central bank said on Thursday.

Growth in the first quarter was above the 4.3% rise forecast in a Reuters poll, but a dip from the fourth quarter’s 4.7% expansion.

The central bank said that while it was maintaining its full-year growth target at 4.3-4.8%, risks to the outlook remained tilted to the downside due to external factors.

The current account surplus widened to 16.4 billion ringgit ($3.93 billion) in the first quarter, from 10.8 billion ringgit in the fourth quarter.

($1 = 4.1690 ringgit)

Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; writing by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Jacqueline WongOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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