On the supply side, the Services sector expanded to 5.9 percent supported by the sound performance of Wholesale & Retail Trade and Finance & Insurance sub-sectors. The growth of Wholesale & Retail Trade was boosted by the Retail activities which stepped up 6.9 percent. Finance & Insurance activities increased to 6.2 percent boosted by a double-digit growth in Insurance activity (16.8 percent), particularly in life insurance.
Communication improved to 9.0 percent largely backed by data communication services which was mostly fuelled by the growing broadband penetration rate.
For five consecutive quarters, the Construction sector continued to register impressive growth. The sector recorded a marked expansion of 14.7 percent in this quarter. Residential rose to 9.8 percent stimulated by housing development projects mainly in Klang Valley and Pulau Pinang.
The Agriculture sector recorded a growth of 6.0 percent supported by Oil Palm, Other Agriculture and Fishing.
Manufacturing sector grew at a slower pace of 0.3 percent due to the decline in the sub-sector of Petroleum, Chemical, Rubber & Plastic products and the lacklustre momentum in other sub-sectors. The Petroleum, Chemical, Rubber & Plastic products sub-sector plummeted to its worst performance at negative 2.3 percent since second quarter of 2009. The subdued growth was due to the deceleration in production of refined petroleum
The Mining and Quarrying sector declined to 1.9 percent due to lower production of crude oil (-2.8 percent) and condensate (-6.5 percent).
On the demand side, Private Final Consumption Expenditure picked up to 7.5 percent as compared to 6.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. The expansion was driven by better growth in most type of expenditures mainly in the transport & communication, housing & utilities and food & beverages.
Government Final Consumption Expenditure grew at a slower pace of 0.1 percent against 1.2 percent in the previous quarter. The milder growth was due to the decline in expenditure of supply and services.
The Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) remained sound at 13.2 percent boosted by the expenditure on Structure and Machinery & Equipment. Private sector with a share of 62.4 per cent drove the GFCF to register a growth of 10.9 percent. Meanwhile, the Public sector grew at 17.3 per cent.
Exports declined to 0.6 percent reflected by the sluggish performance in the exports of goods. Exports of goods contributed 84.8 percent towards total Exports. Imports augmented to 3.6 percent, impelled by higher imports of goods particularly in Machinery & Transport Equipment, Mineral Fuel & Lubricants and Manufactured Goods.