Malaysia's economic growth slowed to 4.1 percent in the first quarter of 2013 due to weaker external demand, the central bank announced Wednesday.
The global economy grew at a modest pace in the first quarter of 2013, while economic activity in Asia continued to expand, albeit at a slower pace, as domestic demand continued to outweigh weakness in external demand, the central bank said in a statement.
"Amid this weaker external environment, the Malaysian economy expanded by 4.1 percent in the first quarter supported by stronger domestic demand that expanded by 8.2 percent during the quarter," it said.
"On the supply side, while the domestic-oriented industries continued to register sustained growth, activity in the major economic sectors was weighed down by the weak external conditions. "
Malaysia's economy grew by 5.1 percent in the same period in 2012 and 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter last year.
Despite a slower pace, central bank Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz maintained the bank's projection of a GDP growth of 5 percent to 6 percent for the country this year.
The central bank considers the vibrant domestic demand continue to be the driving force of economic growth.
"Domestic demand is expected to remain as the key driver of growth, driven by sustained private sector expansion and supported by the public sector. While global developments will continue to present downside risks, intra-regional trade is expected to reinforce the growth performance," the central bank said.