Malaysia’s Economic outlook improves but challenges remain

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economic outlook has improved. The Statistics department explains that the March indicators are to be encouraged in the future. But still, it expects to face the existing challenges to continue till the COVID-19 pandemic is managed and brought under control.

Despite the prevailing conditions of the pandemic, the highest annual growth in March 2020 was observed in Malaysia through LI (LEADING INDEX). This performance of LI was due to the growth in the number of approved housing units. Along with the imports of the precious and non-ferrous metals and new companies which registered during that period.

These all parameters were explained by the chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin. He also explained that the leading index increased from 96.6 points to 113.3 points in March 2020. Contrary to this, the LI performance of February was 1.1% but increased to 1.8% in March.

The leading index is a very productive tool as it gives the exact upturns and downturns of the upcoming four to five months in the field of economics. The LI indicated in March 2021 that the economic direction will be pointed towards betterment as was declared in advance by observing the smooth growth rate of LI.

It was declared by the statistics department that the merchandise trade performance will show betterment in Malaysia. And the positive sentiment in several sectors like manufacturing and motor vehicles. The chief statistician further explained that China is Malaysia’s top trading partner. And has also been benefited from the sturdy growth of Gross Domestic Product with the indicators of 18.3% during that period. Betterment in the economic sector has also been observed in many countries after the second third wave of the pandemic.

On the other hand, the Coincident Index (CI) which is used to measure the current economic performance of any area showed the betterment from negative 2% to an increase of 4.1%. Despite this, the death and infection rates due to COVID-19 have been seen to increase in Malaysia. But it is assumed that if SOPs are followed then the economic standards can be maintained otherwise the economy will face lower GDP.

Muhammad Asim