Slower economic growth anticipated in months ahead

PETALING JAYA: Slower economic growth is anticipated for Malaysia for the months ahead, even without factoring in pandemic concerns, according to the leading, coincident & lagging indices for January 2020.

Malaysia chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin revealed that the leading index (LI) increased by 0.1% in January 2020 from -0.3% in the previous month.

“Among seven components of LI, two posted rises namely, expected sales value in manufacturing sector (0.5%) and the Bursa Malaysia industrial index (0.1%),” he said in a statement.

On a year-on-year basis, the LI saw a slower growth of 0.7% in January compared to 1.9% in January 2019, which indicated a slower economic growth is anticipated in the months ahead.

Mohd Uzir highlighted that the index for January 2020 has not taken into account the internal shocks, especially the Covid-19 pandemic that have a direct impact on the economy.

“These pandemic effects are expected to be reflected in the index of the subsequent month.”

The rapid spread of the pandemic has resulted in an institution of a nationwide movement control order by the government.

“However, the mitigation measures undertaken by the government is expected to soften the impact of this pandemic to the economy,” Mohd Uzir added.