INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT JUMPS 4.6PC
Growth led by manufacturing and mining activities, reports Statistics Department
MALAYSIA’S Industrial Production Index (IPI) rose 4.6 per cent in March compared with the same period a year ago, led by positive growth in manufacturing and mining activities.
The manufacturing index rose 5.9 per cent and the mining index rose two per cent.
The electricity index, however, declined 0.2 per cent.
The Statistics Department said electrical and electronics products, which rose 8.5 per cent, contributed to manufacturing activities, while wood products, furniture, paper products and printing rose 10.3 per cent.
Mining sector output was driven by a sustained increase of 7.9 per cent in the natural gas index.
Alliance Research said the drag in the crude oil production subsector, from -2.6 per cent to -4.7 per cent in March, could be a reason for the weak mining sector performance.
“Moving forward, the strong exports trend witnessed in the first quarter, especially in electrical and electronic goods shipments, will likely support manufacturing index growth, and therefore, steady IPI growth is expected in the coming months,” said the research house.
It said given the manufacturing sector’s strong performance in the first quarter of the year (three month moving average of 5.7 per cent), first-quarter gross domestic product growth could have strengthened to 4.7 per cent.
Manufacturing activity recorded strong growth of 13.6 per cent, rising to RM65.9 billion compared with RM58 billion reported a year ago.