Malaysian development slowed by much less than anticipated in the initial quarter of 2019, but the Southeast Asian economy is nevertheless most likely to face headwinds in the rest of the year.

Information from the country’s Division of Statistics released on Thursday showed that the economy expanded by four.five per cent compared to a year ago, slightly above the four.three per cent boost forecast in a Reuters poll. The price of development was slower than the four.7 per cent recorded in the preceding fourth quarter.

The statistics agency attributed the more quickly-than-forecast development to sturdy levels of private consumption and development in solutions, manufacturing and agriculture.,

The Malaysian economy has been below stress from flagging worldwide development and persistent trade tensions, which have resulted in reduced demand for key exports like refined petroleum and palm oil goods. 

Malaysia is a single of these nations in the firing line following the Trump administration’s move to raise tariffs on Chinese exports, as it is a substantial exporter of intermediary goods to China, analysts point out. 

Malaysia’s central bank is targeting expansion of four.three per cent to four.eight per cent this year, compared to a price of four.7 per cent in 2018 and five.9 per cent in 2017. Even so, economists at Capital Economics have predicted that development will come in at a far more sluggish four per cent in 2019. 

Malaysia’s economy could also face far more internal pressures. A selection final year by the newly-minted administration of Mahathir Mohamad to scrap a controversial goods and solutions tax might have offered a brief-term jolt to customer spending, but dangers leaving a hole in the government’s coffers. 

“With exports most likely to stay in the doldrums, GDP development in Malaysia appears set to slow to a post-monetary crisis low this year,” economists at Capital Economics wrote in a note final week. “The government’s current policies will make the downturn even worse.” 

Final week, Malaysia’s central bank reduce its overnight policy price by 25 basis points to three per cent in a move largely anticipated by the markets.