Malaysia's Jan exports seen rising at fastest pace since Oct 2015

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 1): Malaysia's exports likely expanded for a third consecutive month in January, and at its fastest pace in more than a year, according to a Reuters poll.

The median forecast from 10 economists is for January exports to rise 15% from a year earlier, due to a low comparison base and a recovery in commodity prices.

Malaysia reports its trade figures in ringgit.

Since October 2015's 16.5% annual increase in exports, the best month has been January 2016, when shipments climbed 8.1%.

Economists say continued solid demand for electronics items contributed to January exports.

In December, exports rose 10.7% on higher commodity prices and stronger demand for electronic and electrical goods.

In the poll, import growth in January is seen at 10.0%, below December's 11.5%.

The January trade surplus is forecast to narrow to RM8.2 billion (US$1.84 billion), from December's RM8.7 billion.

(US$1 = RM4.4470)