KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Malaysia's exports in September rose 8.8 per cent from a year earlier, up for the fourth consecutive month, supported by strong demand from key markets such as China and the European Union, data from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry showed.
September's exports registered their highest year-on-year growth since May 2014, surpassing economists' expectations in a Reuters poll of a 3.1 per cent rise.
Imports rose 9.6 per cent on higher demand for capital and consumption goods, far better than a forecast 3.9 per cent rise, and sharply reversing a fall of 6.1 per cent in August.
Malaysia's imports slowed when the government implemented a consumption-based Goods and Services Tax (GST) in April, but showed a surprising 5.9 per cent rise in July.
Malaysia's trade surplus moderated to RM9.69 billion (S$3.17 billion) in September from RM10.19 billion in August.
Exports to the EU increased by 23.7 per cent on higher demand for chemical and electrical and electronic products, while China saw a 13.1 per cent rise on increased demand for manufactured and petroleum products.