Malaysia's economy grows 3% in Q4, below forecast

Credit: REUTERS/Hasnoor Hussain

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Malaysia's economy in the fourth quarter of 2023 grew 3% from a year earlier, slower than the previous three-month period, the central bank said on Friday.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said growth in the October-December period was driven by improving labour market conditions and easing cost pressures.

"Growth in investment activity was underpinned by the progressive realisation of multi-year projects and capacity expansion by firms," the central bank said in a statement.

The reading was below advanced estimates released on Jan. 19 by the Statistics Department and analysts' forecast in a Reuters poll of a 3.4% expansion.

Gross domestic product for all of 2023 was 3.7% compared to 8.7% 2022.

Full-year 2023 economic growth was 3.7%, below the government's projection of a 4% expansion and a sharp drop from a 22-year high of 8.7% in 2022.

The government and central bank expects economic growth of 4%-5% in 2024.

(Reporting by Danial Azhar and Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Martin Petty)

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