KUALA LUMPUR (March 24): Malaysia’s near-term economic growth is expected to face challenges with the leading index (LI) decreasing 1.5% to 108.5 points in January 2023 from 110.2 points in January 2022, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
The LI is a predictive tool used to anticipate economic upturns and downturns in an average of four- to six months ahead.
In a statement on Friday (March 24), chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the decreasing growth rate of smoothed LI in January 2023, which remained below the 100.0 points trend, indicates Malaysia’s near-term economic prospects are expected to face headwinds.
“This aligns with the forecast by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which anticipated slower global economic growth in 2023,” he said regarding Malaysia’s LI, coincident index (CI) and lagging index for January 2023.
He said the number of new companies registered and real imports of semiconductors were among components underpinning the country’s LI decline.
“All components showed decreases except for the Bursa Malaysia Industrial Index, which increased by 0.3%.
“The monthly LI also weakened by 1.5% in January 2023, compared to 0.1% in the previous month,” Mohd Uzir said.
For the current economic position, the CI recorded an increase of 4.5% year-on-year to 119.5 points in January 2023, from 114.3 points in January 2022, the chief statistician added .
“The volume index of retail trade mainly contributed to the incline.
“However, the monthly change of CI recorded a decrease of 0.7% resulting from real salaries and wages, manufacturing (0.3%), and industrial production index (0.3%),” Mohd Uzir said.