KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — Malaysia’s near-term economic growth is expected to face challenges with the leading index (LI) decreasing 1.5 per cent 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, with an average of four to six months ahead.
In a statement today, Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said looking at the direction indicated by the decreasing growth rate of smoothed LI in January 2023, which remained below the 100.0 points trend, indicates that 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, concerning Malaysia’s LI, coincident index (CI) and lagging index for January 2023.
The number of new companies registered and real imports of semiconductors were among the components underpinning the country’s LI decline.
“All components showed decreases except for the Bursa Malaysia industrial index which increased by 0.3 per cent.
“The monthly LI also weakened by 1.5 per cent in January 2023 compared to 0.1 per cent in the previous month,” Mohd Uzir said.
The Chief Statistician added that for the current economic position, the CI recorded an increase of 4.5 per cent year-on-year to 119.5 points in January 2023 from 114.3 points in January 2022.
“The volume index of retail trade mainly contributed to the incline.
“However, the monthly change of CI recorded a decrease of 0.7 per cent, resulting from real salaries and wages, manufacturing (0.3 per cent), and industrial production index (0.3 per cent),” he said.