Stronger manufacturing sees January industrial output exceed forecast

Malaysia recorded a slight increase in the labour force participation rate at 68.6% while the unemployment rate remained at 3.3% in January 2019.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia industrial production index (IPI) rose by 3.2% in January, exceeding a Bloomberg survey of 2.3%, boosted by stronger manufacturing growth, according to the Statistics Department.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin the growth in January 2019 was supported by the increase in the index of electricity (7.8%) and manufacturing (4.2%).  However, the mining index fell by 0.9%.

The manufacturing sector output increased by 4.2% in January, slightly slower than the 4.4% expansion in December 2018. 

The major sub-sectors which recorded an increase in January 2019 were: non-metallic mineral products, basic metal and fabricated metal products (4.3%), petroleum, chemicals, rubber and plastic products (4%) and electrical and electronic equipment products (3.9%).

The electricity sector index increased by 7.8% from a year ago.

However, the weaker mining sector, whose index declined by 0.9% in January on-year was due to a decrease in the crude oil index (-2.2%). The natural gas index increased by 0.3% on-year.

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