A healthier economic outlook in the horizon

by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by TMR FILE

A HEALTHIER economic outlook is anticipated in the coming months after Malaysia’s Leading Index (LI) posted 108.8 points in December 2020 from 101.6 points in December 2019, which also points to a sustained annual growth of 7.1% since November 2020.

Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the expansion in LI was mainly driven by Bursa Malaysia Industrial Index with Health Care Index and Transportation and Logistic Index as the contributors.

“Considering the LI performance and the implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, a healthier economic outlook is anticipated in the coming months.

“The positive vibes are in line with the forecasts by local and international agencies that expect a better economic condition this year,” said Mohd Uzir in a statement yesterday.

However, he said the implementation of prolonged movement restrictions posts rising concern on Malaysia’s economic growth.

To mitigate the impact, the government responded proactively through the announcement of the Malaysian Economic and Rakyat’s Protection assistance package.

According to DoSM’s latest report, the LI showed a decline of 0.3% in terms of monthly percentage change.

Mohd Uzir said the softer performance was influenced by a significant shrink in real money supply, M1, at negative 1% during the month reviewed.

The report also stated that the Coincident Index (CI), which measures the overall current economic performance, grew 1.2% to reach 113.7 points in December 2020 from 112.4 points in the previous month.

All CI components contributed positively, mainly by the Industrial Production Index at 0.4%. The growth was driven by the Manufacturing Index with major contributions from transport equipment and other manufactures (8.4%), petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products (7.7%), and electrical and electronics products (7.6%) subsectors.

Year-on-year, the CI indicated a better trend by registering negative 1.4% in the reference month from negative 2.3% in November 2020.