KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s near-term economic prospects remain upbeat as the country’s Leading Index (LI) increased by 8.2%, underpinned by healthcare and transportation, and as more people get vaccinated.
The Statistics Department said the LI, which is a predictive tool used to anticipate economic upturns and downturns in average of four to six months ahead, increased to 110.0 points in January 2021 from 101.7 points a year ago to record an annual growth of 8.2%.
Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin (pic) said in a statement the increase in LI was supported by the persistent increase in Bursa Malaysia industrial index, underpinned by the healthcare index and transportation and logistics index.
“Correspondingly, the LI showed an increase of 0.7% based on monthly comparison. The growth was mainly contributed by expected sales value in manufacturing sector (0.7%).
“At the same time, the growth rate of smoothed LI remained above the trend which indicates that Malaysia’s near-term economic prospects remain upbeat, in line with the vaccine inoculation.
“Besides that, easing economic containment measures raise hopes for bringing the economic impacts under control, ” he pointed out.