Malaysia Q2 GDP growth drops to 4.5 pct y/y, slowing for a 3rd quarter

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s economy expanded at a much slower annual pace of 4.5 percent in April-June, marking the third straight quarter of slowing growth in Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy.

The rate was well below the 5.2 percent median forecast in a Reuters poll of 14 economists and the slowest growth since Q4 2016.

The central bank said growth over the latest period was affected by commodity-specific shocks due to declining production of natural gas and weak crude palm oil production.

In the first quarter of 2018, Malaysia had annual growth of 5.4 percent.

Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) new governor, Nur Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, revised its 2018 GDP growth forecast to 5.0 percent from the earlier forecast of 5.5-6.0 percent.

In the second quarter, the current account surplus narrowed to 3.9 billion ringgit. (Reporting by Joseph Sipalan; Editing by Richard Borsuk)