Encouraging economic outlook is expected in the near future but uncertainty persists
Malaysia’s Leading Index (LI) continued to trend up in March 2021 posted a double-digit growth, 17.3 per cent year-on-year to 113.3 points (March 2020: 96.6 points). This was the highest year-on-year growth recorded primarily as a result of the sharp drop in March 2020 following the earlier restrictions to curb the global pandemic and mainly influenced by the strong growth in Number of Housing Units Approved, Real Imports of Other Basic Precious & Other Non-ferrous Metals and Number of New Companies Registered. Looking into month-on-month perspective, the LI observed a similar trend by registering 1.8 per cent in March 2021 from 1.1 per cent in February 2021 attributed mainly by Real Imports of Other Basic Precious & Other Non-ferrous Metals (0.8%) and Number of Housing Units Approved (0.6%). In March 2021, the LI which indicates the ability in anticipating the economic direction in advance pointed a better economic prospects through the movement of growth rate of smoothed LI. Despite uncertainty persists, an encouraging economic outlook is expected in the near future. This is in line with the anticipated promising signs of Malaysia’s merchandise trade performance as well as positive sentiment in Manufacturing sector, Motor Vehicles sub-sector and commodity prices.
The Coincident Index (CI) which measures the current economic performance showed a better year-on-year growth to 4.1 per cent from negative 2.0 per cent in February 2021. On a monthly basis, the CI rose to 0.1 per cent supported by the increase in Real Contributions to Employees Provident Fund (1.4%), Total Employment in Manufacturing sector (0.5%) and Capacity Utilisation in Manufacturing sector (0.2%).
The Diffusion Index for LI recorded an improvement of 85.7 per cent in March 2021 from 71.4 per cent in the previous month. Concurrently, the Diffusion Index for CI showed a downward trend at 66.7 per cent in the reference month.
The full publication of the Malaysian Economic Indicators: Leading, Coincident & Lagging Indexes, March 2021 can be downloaded through eStatistik Portal.
DATO' SRI DR. MOHD UZIR MAHIDIN
CHIEF STATISTICIAN MALAYSIA
DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS MALAYSIA
25 May 2021
Mohd Yusrizal Ab Razak
Public Relation Officer
Strategic Communication and International Division
Department of Statistics, Malaysia
Tel : +603-8885 7942
Fax : +603-8888 9248
E-mail : yusrizal.razak[at]dosm.gov.my