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Malaysia Q3 GDP grows 4.4% y-o-y, slowing for 4th quarter

[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia's economy grew at an annual 4.4 per cent pace in July-September, the fourth straight quarter of slowing growth as it grapples with weak external demand.

The rate was the slowest since the last quarter of 2016 and below the 4.6 per cent median forecast in a Reuters poll of 15 economists.

In the second quarter, Malaysia's economy grew 4.5 per cent annually.

The central bank said while growth was supported by 9 per cent growth in household spending and 6.9 per cent growth in private spending, it was dragged down by lingering effects of one-off supply shocks in the LNG and palm oil markets.

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Supply shocks lowered growth for Southeast Asia's third-largest economy by 0.5-0.7 percentage point, the central bank said.

Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Nur Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said Malaysia was on track for 4.8 per cent growth in 2018, and 4.9 per cent next year.

"Going into 2019, private sector activity will remain key driver of growth as rationalisation of private sector spending continues," said Nur Shamsiah.

Global trade tensions could drag the country's growth down by 0.3-0.5 per cent next year if it gets worse, she said.

The current account surplus narrowed to RM3.8 billion in the third quarter. 

REUTERS