[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia's annual economic growth pace is expected to have dipped to 4.1 per cent in the first quarter from 4.5 per cent the previous three months, a Reuters poll showed, amid a slowdown in domestic consumption and marginal growth in exports.
The median forecast by 12 economists for the first quarter of 2016 is also sharply below the 5.6 per cent annual growth rate registered in the first quarter of last year.
Malaysia's trade surplus grew to RM11.2 billion (S$3.79 billion) in March from RM7.4 billion a month earlier, despite decreased earnings from liquefied natural gas and crude oil.
However, exports only grew by 0.2 per cent in March compared to a 6.7 per cent hike in February.
In January, the government trimmed its full-year 2016 growth forecast to 4.0-4.5 per cent from 4.0-5.0 per cent.
In 2015, the economy expanded 5 per cent.