HE local economy can grow 6 per cent this year, the higher end of the official forecast, if all public and private sector projects go ahead without any external "destabilising" events, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
"We have high potential of achieving the 6 per cent growth during the course of the year ... we have the foundations to do that," Zeti said, adding that better growth is expected in the second half of the year.
She stressed that the economy is growing steadily as Malaysia has the fundamentals and flexibility to go into new areas of growth in the manufacturing and services sectors.
The central bank also does not expect the economy to be significantly affected by the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan, as the Malaysian economy was powered by domestic demand.
Japan is Malaysia's third biggest export market last year.
"Key to this is continued consumption demand and also continued growth momentum in investment activities in the private sector. We have the enabling environment and the Economic Transformation Programme," Zeti said when releasing details of BNM's annual report in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.