KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) expects the country’s economy to continue its recovery trend based on the smoothed growth rate of leading index (LI), a predictive tool to anticipate upturns and downturns in the economy,
Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the LI registered 108.5 points in August 2020 from 100.8 points in August 2019, maintaining an annual growth of 7.6 per cent.
However, he said the LI slipped to negative 0.5 per cent, dragged by the number of new companies registered (negative 0.6 per cent), real imports of semi conductors (negative 0.4 per cent), and the number of housing units approved (negative 0.1 per cent),” he said.
“Despite the softening LI for the reference month, the growth rate of smoothed LI is consistently above trend and moving upwards,” he said in a statement today.
Mohd Uzir said this implied that the Malaysian economy is expected to continue its recovery trend in the months ahead.
Nevertheless, he said the downside risk to growth remained amid the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
Meanwhile, he said Coincident Index (CI), which measure the current economic performance, anticipated a better year-on-year growth to register negative 2.3 per cent in August 2020 from negative 2.4 per cent in July 2020.
“On a monthly basis, the CI rose to 0.5 per cent supported by the increase in volume index of retail trade (0.5 per cent) and real salaries and wages in manufacturing sector (0.1 per cent)”, he said.
Mohd Uzir said the current situation was supported by the performance of volume index of wholesale and retail trade which depicted a sign of recovery to register 130 points with a growth of negative 2.4 per cent year-on-year.
“This was the smallest negative growth since March 2020. Besides that, in terms of labour force statistics, the number of employed persons improved 0.5 per cent to 15.2 million persons, contributed mainly in the services sectors,” he added.