A softer economic momentum with a high degree of uncertainty in the near future
The near term economic direction portrays by the Leading Index (LI) is compiled based on selected economic indicators irrespective of shocks in the economy. However, the ongoing pandemic is seen to weigh on economic growth. In February 2020, the LI declined to negative 0.8 per cent, month on month, from 0.1 per cent in the previous month. This was underpinned by Expected Sales Value in Manufacturing sector (-1.2%) and Number of Housing Unit Approved (-0.8%) as the main contributors to the decrease. The annual change of LI increased 1.7 per cent in the reference month due to the lower points of LI recorded in February 2019, resulting from a slowdown in global demand during the said month (February 2020: 100.9 points; February 2019: 99.2 points). The performance of LI indicates a softer economic momentum with a high degree of uncertainty in the near future. The economic stimulus measures will ease the economic outlook despite challenges arising from the prolong pandemic.
The Coincident Index (CI) which indicates the economic performance in the reference month, rose 0.5 per cent. Among the components which influenced the increased were Industrial Production Index (0.3%) and Total Employment in Manufacturing sector (0.2%). In line with that, the CI showed better annual growth rate at 3.2 per cent in February 2020 from 2.0 per cent recorded in January 2020.
The Diffusion Index is used in determining turning points of economic cycles. Both Diffusion Indexes in the reference month posted unchanged as against January 2020 with the Diffusion Index for LI at 57.1 per cent and the Diffusion Index for CI at 83.3 per cent.
DATO' SRI DR. MOHD UZIR MAHIDIN
CHIEF STATISTICIAN MALAYSIA
DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS MALAYSIA
24 April 2020
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