Malaysia: Industrial production moderates sharply in March
May 10, 2012
In March, industrial production added a soft 0.6% over the same month last year, which was well below the robust 8.2% rise tallied in February (previously reported: +7.5% year-on-year). Moreover, the print undershot market expectations that had industrial production rising 2.5%. According to the statistical office, the deceleration seen in March was broad-based, as all the main sub-categories deteriorated over the previous month, particularly in the mining and in the manufacturing sectors. A month-on-month analysis corroborates the strong deceleration suggested by the annual figures, as industrial production contracted 5.2% in seasonally adjusted terms (February: +9.1% month-on-month). Owing to the weak print, the trend deteriorated somewhat, with annual average growth in industrial production inching down from February's 1.6% to 1.5%. The Central Bank expects GDP to expand between 4.0% and 5.0% this year.