Malaysia's economy recorded an expansion of 5.3 percent in 2005, down from the growth rate of 7.1 percent in the previous year, according to the Department of Statistics.
Though the growth rate of the gross domestic product (GDP) slowed down compared with the year 2004, local analysts said the GDP figure was well within the target of the central bank and also within the expectations of local business communities as well as economists in this country.
For the whole year 2005, the agriculture sector recorded an increase of 2.1 percent in real terms. Oil palm registered a growth of 7.2 percent while rubber growth rate decelerated to 3.8 percent.
The manufacturing and services sectors increased by 4.9 percent and 6.5 percent respectively. The mining sector registered a growth of 0.8 percent in real terms, down from 3.9 percent in 2004, and construction sectors contracted 1.6 percent.
For the fourth quarter of 2005, the GDP growth eased to 5.2 percent from 5.3 percent in the previous quarter.
The value-added in the manufacturing sector posted a relatively high growth rate of 7.3 percent compared to 5.7 percent, 3.1 percent and 3.5 percent growths in the past three quarters.
Agriculture recorded a negative growth of 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter and the mining eased by 2 percent in real terms.
Final consumption expenditure continued to increase significantly by 10 percent in this quarter compared to 9.3 percent registered in previous quarter.
This was contributed by a strong growth of 12.8 percent in government consumption expenditure. The private consumption expenditure grew by 9 percent.
The external sector registered a significant growth in the fourth quarter, with exports growing by 10.4 percent and imports expanding by 8 percent in real terms.
The strong export performance was mainly contributed by electrical and electronic products, crude petroleum, palm oil and palm oil-based products, timber and timber-based products and liquefied natural gas, said the department.