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Economy to improve in the near-term
Published on: Thursday, February 29, 2024
By: Bernama
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Economy to improve in the near-term
The Leading Index has shown a 0.3% year-on-year growth, marking the first positive growth in nine months, driven by a 41.5% surge in approved housing units, says the statistics department.
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s economy is expected to improve in the near-term, supported by resilient domestic demand and stable labour market conditions, said the statistics department.

Chief statistician Uzir Mahidin said the Leading Index (LI) showed a 0.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth to reach 110.1 points in December 2023 compared to 109.8 points in December 2022.

“This notable rebound marked the first instance of positive growth following nine consecutive months of decline, largely propelled by a significant surge of 41.5% in the number of housing units approved,” he said in a statement today.

He said Malaysia’s economy grew by 3% in the fourth quarter of 2023 (Q4 2023), slightly slower than the 3.3% growth registered in Q3 2023.

In Q4 2023, the industrial production index (IPI) rose by 1% y-o-y, despite the sales value of the manufacturing sector contracting by 2.7% y-o-y to RM461.5 billion.

“Meanwhile, the revenue of the services sector registered a 6.6% y-o-y growth, reaching RM591.4 billion in Q4 2023,” he noted.

Uzir said the services volume index also grew by 4.1% to 148.5 points.

In view of the external sector performance, Uzir said that Malaysia’s exports in Q4 2023 declined by 6.9% to register RM366.3 billion, while imports rose by 1.3% to RM329.3 billion.

Looking into the labour market performance, the number of employed persons grew 2.5%, to record 16.35 million persons in Q4 2023 while the unemployment rate registered at 3.3%, he said.

“Malaysia’s labour landscape witnessed an improvement with the unemployment rate standing at 3.3%, or 0.3% points lower, in Q4 2023, compared to 3.6% in the same period the previous year.

“This reduction was propelled by sustained employment growth, which increased by 2.5% y-o-y, while the labour force rose by 2.2% y-o-y, reaching 16.91 million persons, maintaining a robust labour force participation rate of 70.1%,” he added.

In terms of prices, the consumer price index (CPI) eased to 1.6% y-o-y in Q4 2023, while the producer price index (PPI) stood at negative 1%.

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