Malaysia''s first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth to 5% from its earlier prediction of 4.5 %, according to Am Research but maintained its forecast of 5.5% growth for the year.
The upwards revision was supported by recent trade and industrial output data, which suggested healthy growth in the manufacturing and services sectors, Am Research economist Manokaran Mottain, told "Bernama" news agency.
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is scheduled to release the first quarter GDP figures on May 18, 2011.
The March Industrial Production Index gained 2.4%, year-on-year (YoY), and on a month-on-month basis rebounded strongly by 12.1%. In particular, manufacturing output rose 5.3%, YoY, which reflected the trend observed in recent trade figures, he said in a research note Thursday.
Malaysia's exports and imports grew 7.8%, YoY, and 12.1% ,YoY, respectively, in March.
The growth in the first quarter was also supported by a recent move by BNM to hike the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) to 3.0%, to the least expectations of most analysts and economists.
"We are more confident growth will gather momentum to register a trend-wise growth rate of 6.0 per cent by the final quarter of the year," said Manokaran who based his optimism on projects under the Economic Transformation Programme and 10th Malaysian Plan picking up steam in the second-half of the year.