Malaysia's economy expanded by 5.0 percent in the third quarter of 2013 thanks to sustained domestic demand and improved external trade performance. "Domestic demand remained the key driver of growth, expanding by 8.3 percent, while exports turned around to grow by 1.7 percent, " the central bank said in statement on Friday in announcing the growth figure. Malaysia's economic growth slowed down to 4.2 percent in the first half of 2013. But the government said the economy is expected to grow at a faster pace, to achieve 4.5 percent to 5 percent for the year 2013 thanks to improved economic prospects for major economies such as the United States, Europe and China. The Malaysian central bank predicted emerging signs of a recovery in the major advanced economies, which are expected to support overall global growth despite policy uncertainties. For the Malaysian economy, the central bank said gradual recovery in the external sector will support growth. "Domestic demand from the private sector will remain supportive of economic activity amid the continued consolidation of the public sector. The economy is therefore expected to remain on its steady growth trajectory," it added.