Malaysia's economy grew at a slightly faster than expected 5.6 percent in the first quarter, as investment in the private sector picked up pace, its central bank said on Friday.
Though it beat forecast Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the January-March quarter slowed from 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, partly due to weak exports at the start of the year. The median forecast from a Reuters' poll had reckoned on 5.5 percent growth in the first quarter.
Growth would have been slower but for a surge in industrial activity and robust private consumption in March prior to the implementation of a new consumption tax, but Bank Negara Malaysia's governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz stressed the positives, and analysts also said the data showed the economy's resilience.
"This is a strong growth of investment in the economy," Zeti told a news conference.