Malaysia’s December 2017 industrial output growth at 19-month low


Malaysia’s industrial production index (IPI) rose 2.9 percent year-on-year in December 2017, said the country’s statistics department Friday.

The department said in a statement, the growth was driven by an increase in the manufacturing and electricity indexes, which grew 5.3 percent and 3.9 percent respectively.

The growth for the manufacturing sector was driven by main sub-sectors, namely food, beverages and tobacco products that surged 17 percent; petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products that grew 3.6 percent; electrical and electronic products which was up 4.1 percent.

The mining index, however, fell 4.1 percent year-on-year as the crude oil and natural gas indices fell 5 percent and 3.2 percent respectively.

The IPI growth for December was the slowest since May 2016, according to a report from MIDF, a research house.

“The slowdown in the month was due to unfavorable base effects, year-end holidays and moderating exports growth,” it added.

The research house expects IPI growth of 4.3 percent this year, as it foresees the industrial output momentum last year to continue given that robust external trade performance continues and gradual increase in commodity price would boost up industrial activity in Malaysia.

The receding protectionism threat and expected spill-over effects from the United States tax cuts will also drive up global trade activities this year, it said.

MIDF also highlighted the industrial activities in major economies like the United States, China and Japan remained on steady speed, thanks to continuous expansionary global trade activities.

“Looking forward, we foresee IPI performance will stay on uptick direction in January particularly in China due to the Chinese New Year festival.

“Plus, manufacturing purchasing managers index of global and emerging economies remain on above 50-points level in January at 54.4 and 51.9 points in the first month of 2018,” it said.

Source: XINHUA

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