Selangor Journal
A view of the Kuala Lumpur skyline. — Picture via UNSPLASH

National economy expected to improve soon — DOSM

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 29 — Malaysia’s economy is expected to improve in the near term, supported by resilient domestic demand and stable labour market conditions, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).

Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the Leading Index (LI) showed a 0.3 per cent 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 per cent in the number of housing units approved,” he said in a statement today.

Malaysia’s economy grew by 3.0 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2023 (4Q 2023), slightly slower than the 3.3 per cent growth registered in 3Q 2023.

In 4Q 2023, the Industrial Production Index (IPI) rose by 1.0 per cent y-o-y, despite the sales value of the manufacturing sector contracting by 2.7 per cent y-o-y to RM461.5 billion.

Meanwhile, the revenue of the services sector registered a 6.6 per cent y-o-y growth, reaching RM591.4 billion in 4Q 2023, he noted.

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

In view of external sector performance, Malaysia’s exports in 4Q 2023 declined by 6.9 per cent to register RM366.3 billion, while imports rose by 1.3 per cent to RM329.3 billion.

Looking into the labour market performance, the number of employed persons grew 2.5 per cent to record 16.35 million persons in 4Q 2023 while the unemployment rate registered at 3.3 per cent.

“Malaysia’s labour landscape witnessed an improvement with the unemployment rate standing at 3.3 per cent, or 0.3 percentage points lower, in 4Q 2023, compared to 3.6 per cent in the same period last year.

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

In terms of prices, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) eased to 1.6 per cent y-o-y in 4Q 2023, while the Producer Price Index (PPI) stood at negative 1.0 per cent.

— Bernama

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