After being in negative territory for most of 2016, the Leading Index, which is used to forecast future economic performance, turned positive in January and February.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian economy is expected to continue expanding four to six months ahead based on the annual change of the Leading Index (LI), said the Statistics Department.
It said in a statement that the annual (year-on-year) change of LI, which monitors the economic performance in advance, rose to 0.8% in February from 0.5% in the previous month.
LI’s components include real money supply, Bursa Malaysia Industrial Index and expected manufacturing sales value, among others.
This marked the second month in a row that the year-on-year LI had been positive. Last year, the index spent 11 months in negative territory (except for August).
However, the department said, LI showed a month-on-month drop of 0.9% in February.
Meanwhile, the Coincident Index, which measures the current economic activity, increased 1.3% in February.
Among the five components that contributed to the growth were capacity utilisation in manufacturing sector and volume index of retail trade.
The Statistics Department said gross domestic product at constant price for the fourth quarter of 2016 continued to expand with a growth of 4.5% versus 4.3% in the previous quarter.