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Central bank policy fuels growth [28-08-2013]  
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Strong domestic demand helps economy expand to 4.2pc in first half

BANK Negara Malaysia said its accommodative monetary policy has enabled domestic demand to fuel the country's economic growth in the first half of the year.

The gross domestic product grew at 4.2 per cent in the first six months, recording a 4.1 per cent expansion in the first quarter and 4.3 per cent in the second quarter.

Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said domestic demand and growth have been expanding "strongly".

"If you look at consumption demand, it has been growing at six to seven per cent, while private sector investment - which is very important for future growth prospects - has been expanding at a double-digit rate of 12 per cent," she said at a media briefing after the launch of a book entitled "Grow Your Business: Access to Financing for SMEs in Malaysia", here, yesterday.

The Overnight Policy Rate, the key benchmark interest that has paused at three per cent since May 2011, is supportive of the growth process, she said.

On the ringgit's weakness, Zeti said exporters have been reminded not to rely on the foreign exchange to gain competitiveness.

"It must be gained through other measures - enhancing productivity, being innovative and have sound management."

Earlier, in launching the book, Zeti said small and medium enterprises should adopt the best practices in financial management to ensure their businesses remain sustainable.

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