OCBC Bank has upgraded Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 4.8 per cent for 2017 from 4.2 per cent earlier and on the back of growing global trade in the second half.
In a note, OCBC said although the year began with concerns about the rise of protectionist politics in the developed world to impede global trade, it has fortunately turned out to be unwarranted.
"Instead of being dragged down by a massive global trade slowdown, Malaysia's economy was boosted by the pleasant surprise of robust trade flows, with exports growing stronger in the first quarter (Q1) of the year, at an average 21.4 per cent y-o-y per month.
"Moreover, the economy has received a fillip from domestic consumption. For example, private investments rose by 12.9 per cent y-o-y in Q1 compared to 4.9 per cent y-o-y in the previous quarter" it added.
On monetary policy, OCBC said Bank Negara Malaysia would most likely keep its policy rate unchanged at 3.0 per cent for the rest of the year.