Malaysia: Industrial production starts the second quarter on strong footing
Industrial production increased 4.6% over the previous year in April, significantly picking up speed from the prior month’s 3.1% year-on-year increase. The result easily beat market expectations of 3.7% growth and marked the quickest pace of expansion since January.
The April figure reflected a broad-based improvement in output growth, with all sectors shifting into a higher gear compared to March. Manufacturing output grew 5.3% in April (March: + 4.1% year-on-year) thanks to the electronics; petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products; and non-metallic mineral products, basic metals and fabricated metal products subsectors. Electricity output growth increased from 4.4% in March to 5.8% in April. Moreover, output in the mining sector grew 1.8% after registering a flat reading in the prior month. Growth in the mining sector was driven by crude oil production; natural gas output contracted.
On a month-on-month basis, industrial output rebounded from a seasonally-adjusted 0.2% contraction in March to a 1.5% expansion in April. Lastly, annual average growth in industrial production edged up from 4.3% in March to 4.4% in April.