The Malaysian economy is expected to maintain a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5% this year despite weak external demand, said Frost & Sullivan. Its partner and head of automotive and transportation practice for Asia-Pacific, Kavan Mukhtyar said the growth would be driven by strong performance in the oil and gas and construction industries. Mukhtyar expected the construction industry to register a 11% growth this year compared with 15% last year. The mining and quarrying industry was expected to grow by 3% in 2013, with oil and gas sector as the key driver, he said, adding the global oil prices would likely continue its upward trend this year. The highly anticipated global economic recovery in 2013 coupled with the downstream investment for the long run would help to spur demand for the commodity. On the other industries, Mukhtyar expected manufacturing to post a growth of 5% and services 6%, contributed by strong domestic consumption, travel activities and investments. Meanwhile, the agriculture industry would see an expansion of 2% this year amid weak commodity demand for the first six months of the year.