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Malaysia cuts 2013 growth forecast

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysia's central bank cut its economic growth forecast for this year after a slower-than-expected expansion in the second quarter.

It said Wednesday it expects the Malaysian economy to grow between 4.5 percent and 5 percent in 2013. The central bank had earlier forecast growth of 6 percent.

The bank says domestic demand is expected to remain firm but the weak global economy will hurt growth this year. It said the Malaysian ringgit has also come under pressure, falling nearly 7 percent since April.

The economy grew 4.3 percent from a year earlier in the April-June quarter, falling short of the 4.7 percent growth forecast by economists.

Fitch Ratings last month lowered the outlook on Malaysia's credit rating to negative from stable, citing rising debt and an absence of budgetary reforms.