Malaysia's economy grows 4.9% y/y in Q2, faster than forecast

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Malaysia's economy grew 4.9% year-on-year in the second quarter, the central bank said on Friday, making it the first major Southeast Asian economy to report an acceleration from January-March.

Gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the second quarter beat the 4.8% rise forecast in a Reuters poll, and was quicker than the 4.5% annual pace in the first three months of 2019.

The central bank maintained its full-year growth target of 4.3-4.8%, but said an escalation in global trade tensions could knock 0.1 percentage point off GDP growth.

The current account surplus narrowed to 14.3 billion ringgit ($3.42 billion) in the second quarter, from 16.4 billion ringgit in the first quarter.

($1 = 4.1820 ringgit) (Reporting by Joseph Sipalan; Writing by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Richard Borsuk and Sam Holmes)