KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian economy grew 4.4 percent in the third quarter of 2019 (Q3 2019), moderately lower compared with the 4.9 percent growth recorded in Q2 2019, says Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

GDP growth was recorded at 4.4 percent during the same quarter last year. BNM governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus attributed the lower gross domestic product (GDP) performance to the lower growth in key sectors such as services, manufacturing and agriculture as well as a decline in mining and construction activities.

“On the demand side, most domestic demand components and net exports also registered slower growth momentum,” she told a media briefing on Malaysia’s third-quarter GDP performance, here yesterday.

On key sectors, Nor Shamsiah said the services sector grew by 5.9 percent in Q3 2019 compared with 6.1 percent in Q2 2019, while growth in the manufacturing sector moderated to 3.6 percent (Q2 2019: 4.3 percent) and the agriculture sector grew by 3.7 percent (Q2 2019: 4.2 percent).

The lower growth in the manufacturing sector was due to slower growth in electrical and electronics (E&E) which was affected by weaker global demand.

The sector was also affected by the slower growth in consumer-related industries, following the lower growth in crude and refined palm oil production.

The agriculture sector, on the other hand, was impacted by the slow pace of recovery in oil palm output while forestry and logging activities contracted further.

Meanwhile, the mining sector contracted by 4.3 percent (Q2 2019: +2.9 percent), mainly due to maintenance works that affected oil production.

The construction sector also contracted by 1.5 percent (Q2 2019: +0.5 percent) due to the larger contraction in the non-residential subsector amid continued oversupply of commercial properties.

During the quarter under review, Nor Shamsiah said domestic demand growth moderated to 3.5 percent from 4.6 percent in Q2 2019, and private sector expenditure remained as the key contributor to growth.

Private consumption grew by 7.0 percent in Q3 2019 as household spending normalised towards its long-term trend, partly reflecting strong base effects from the tax holiday spending last year, while public consumption spending increased by one percent compared with 0.3 percent in Q2 2019.

Private investment growth expanded marginally by 0.3 percent compared with 1.8 percent in Q2 2019, weighed down by lower capital spending across major economic sectors, while public investment remained in contraction (-14.1 percent; Q2 2019: -9.0 percent), reflecting lower capital spending by both federal government and public corporations. – Bernama