Leading Index up 0.8% in January, economy seen strengthening between May and July

PETALING JAYA: The Leading Index (LI) and Coincident Index (CI) showed a good performance in January 2018 as compared to the preceding month, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia.

"Thus, the Malaysia's economy is expected to continue to strengthen between May and July 2018," it said in a statement.

The LI, which monitors the economic performance in advance registered a growth of 0.8% in January 2018 to 120.3 points from 119.3 points in December 2017.

The CI, which measures the current economic activity, rose to 0.5% in January 2018.

The department said the real imports of semi conductors and number of housing units approved, which recorded 0.5% respectively, were among the components that caused this increase.

The annual change of LI rose to 2.1% as compared to 1.7% in the preceding month, while the annual change in CI increased by 4.0% in the reference month as against 3.3% recorded in December 2017.

"Three components that contributed positively to the increase were total employment in manufacturing sector (0.3%), real salaries and wages in manufacturing sector (0.2%) and volume index of retail trade (0.1%).

"At the same time, both Diffusion Indexes remained above 50.0%," the department added.