KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 (Bernama) -- Malaysia posted a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.7 per cent in the fourth quarter (Q4) of last year, leading to an overall economic growth of 4.7 per cent in 2018, says Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).
The growth was slower than the 5.9 per cent recorded in 2017.
In 2018, the economy grew 5.4 per cent in the Q1, 4.5 per cent in Q2 and 4.4 per cent in Q3.
At a press conference to announce the GDP figures, BNM Governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the 4.7 per cent growth in the economy last year, was supported by resilient private sector activities amid temporary supply disruptions.
In the Q4, private sector activity remained the main driver of growth, while a rebound in exports of goods and services contributed towards the positive growth of net exports.
On the supply side, major sectors continued to expand.
Meanwhile, BNM in a statement said the services sector was supported by continued strength in consumer spending, particularly in the retail segment, while growth in the manufacturing sector remained driven by the electronics and electrical (E&E) and consumer-related clusters.
Commodities-related sectors continued to recover from production disruptions experienced since the Q2, with higher growth in the mining and agricultural sectors.
Headline inflation declined to 0.3 per cent (Q3 2018: 0.5 per cent), mainly due to transport inflation turning negative.
The combined outcome of the zerorisation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST) continued to exert an overall downward impact on headline inflation during the quarter.
Going forward, private sector demand is expected to remain the main growth driver amid continuing fiscal rationalisation, while the external sector is likely to soften with moderating global demand.
Headline inflation is expected to average moderately higher.
However, the impact of the consumption tax policy on headline inflation in 2019 will start to lapse towards the end of the year.
Underlying inflation, which excludes the impact of the changes in consumption tax policy, is expected to be broadly stable in 2019, in the absence of strong demand pressure.