Malaysia's economy expanded at a faster-than-expected pace in the second quarter, data showed on Friday, boosted by strong exports and robust consumption.
Gross domestic product (GDP) growth rose 6.4 percent from the year-ago period versus the 5.8 percent gain a poll by Reuters was expecting.
The ringgit extended gains on the news to hit a session high against the dollar. Malaysia stocks showed muted reaction, trading flat.
"The very strong export performance was better than expected," Bank Negara Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz told a news conference after the data release. "It's very likely that the overall growth for the year will exceed growth projections made earlier."
Zeti added that the central bank's efforts to curb consumer debt were working as intended, noting a recent "moderation" in household debt. "If we were to be overly stringent in our policies it will result in an over adjustment," she said.
To curb the ballooning debt, the central bank last month raised its interest rate for the first time in three years by 25 basis points to 3.25 percent. Economists believe it will have to do more to dissuade borrowers. The next central bank meeting takes place in September.