February 14, 2018 1:19 pm JST

Malaysia Q4 GDP grows 5.9% on year, beats forecast

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) -- Malaysia's economy grew more rapidly than expected in the fourth quarter of 2017, capping a year of robust growth.

Data released by the central bank on Wednesday showed annual growth of 5.9 percent in the fourth quarter.

The median forecast of a Reuters poll of 12 economists was for growth to cool to 5.7 percent after the 6.2 percent pace in the third quarter.

Full-year 2017 growth came in at 5.9 percent, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said in a statement. The pace in 2016 was 4.2 percent.

The central bank said fourth-quarter growth was driven by private sector expenditure, supported by continued wage and employment growth.

In October, the government revised up its 2017 full-year growth projection to 5.2-5.7 percent, from 4.3 percent to 4.8 percent.

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