MANUFACTURING sales for November 2003 rose 11.4% to RM29.3bil from RM26.3bil in the equivalent month of 2002, the Statistics Department said yesterday.
It said, however, the sales value for November was 4.6% or RM1.4bil lower than the RM30.7bil reported in October 2003.
For the first 11 months to November, manufacturing sales grew 10.2% to RM310.8bil from RM282bil in the corresponding period a year earlier.
MIDF Sisma Securities economist Azrul Azwar said the year-on-year growth for November was in line with the 25.7% year-on-year surge in global semiconductor sales reported by the Semiconductor Industry Association recently.
He said robust global orders and continued strength of domestic demand seemed to have underpinned the double-digit growth of manufacturing sales for the third consecutive month since September.
However, he said the month-on-month decline in November sales value by 4.6%, versus 0.9% in the previous month, should not be a cause for concern as “this is not uncommon, given seasonal circumstances.”
Azrul said although the November manufacturing sales were below the RM30bil recorded in the two preceding months, MIDF Sisma Securities was convinced the full-year growth for 2003 would reach at least 10.5%, assuming the December 2003 sales do not fall below RM29bil.
For the first 11 months last year, the cumulative sales of RM310.8bil were already 10.2% higher than that posted in the corresponding period a year earlier, he said.
“Sustaining sales growth into this year – at least in the first half 2004 – could be an incentive for manufacturers to continue increasing production, especially if new orders keep coming in from customers, both locally and overseas,” Azrul said.
The manufacturing sector employed 1,009,364 people at end-November 2003, against 1,009,500 in the previous month-end.
The department said total salaries and wages paid in November 2003 were up 1.9% to RM1.64bil from RM1.61bil in October.
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