Malaysia's economy grows 4.2% in Q1
KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia recorded its slowest economic growth in nearly seven years in the first quarter, as weak exports and tepid domestic demand continue to hurt the trade-dependent nation.
In January-March, the economy grew 4.2 per cent from a year ago, down from 4.5 per cent in the previous quarter. The quarter was the fifth straight one of declining growth and showed the slowest expansion since the third quarter of 2009. Bank Negara governor Muhammad Ibrahim indicated that the current quarter could bring further slowing, but said growth could improve in the second half .
Euro-area growth revised down slightly
LONDON • The euro-area economy grew less than estimated in the first quarter, though momentum was still the fastest in a year. Led by a surprise performance by Germany, it grew 0.5 per cent in the three months to March. That compares with an initial estimate of 0.6 per cent. It grew 1.5 per cent from a year ago.
US retail sales better than expected in April
WASHINGTON • Consumers came back to US stores last month, spending more than expected to reverse a stall in the first quarter, Commerce Department data yesterday showed. But with April's gains mostly in car sales and petrol, data in other categories was not as robust. Retail sales, including food services, leapt 1.3 per cent from March to US$453.4 billion (S$624 billion) and up 3 per cent from a year ago.