Malaysia: Industrial production expands at its fastest pace in almost two years
April 10, 2012
In February, industrial production grew a robust 7.5% over the same month last year, which was well above the 0.3% rise tallied in January (previously reported: +0.2% year-on-year) and marked, in fact, the strongest reading since June 2010. Moreover, the print overshot market expectations that had industrial production rising 6.5%. According to the statistical office, the acceleration seen in February was broad-based, as all the main subcategories improved over the previous month, particularly manufacturing output. Nevertheless, the February figures continued to be distorted by the Chinese New Year holidays. A month-on-month analysis confirms the acceleration suggested by the annual figures, as industrial production jumped 9.1% in seasonally adjusted terms (January: -3.1% mom). Owing to the healthy print, the trend improved, with the annual average growth in industrial production ticking up from January's 1.4% to 1.6%. Furthermore, the Central Bank expects GDP to expand between 4.0% and 5.0% this year.