KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — A healthier economic outlook is anticipated in the coming months based on the latest Malaysia’s Leading Index (LI) performance and the implementation of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

The Department of Statistics Malaysia said in a statement today that the positive vibes were in line with the forecasts by local and international agencies that expected a better economic condition this year.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the LI recorded 108.8 points in December 2020 compared with 101.6 points in December 2019, sustaining at an annual growth of 7.1 per cent since November 2020.

The expansion in LI was mainly driven by Bursa Malaysia Industrial Index with Health Care Index and Transportation & Logistic Index as the contributors.

However, the LI showed a decline of negative 0.3 per cent in terms of monthly percentage change, due to a significant contraction in real money supply, M1, at negative 1.0 per cent during December 2020.

“The implementation of prolonged movement restrictions poses a rising concern on Malaysia’s economic growth.

“To mitigate the impact, the government responded proactively through the announcement of the Malaysian Economic and Rakyat’s Protection (Permai) assistance package to strengthen the current initiatives in place,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Coincident Index (CI), which measures the overall current economic performance, grew 1.2 per cent to 113.7 points in December 2020 from 112.4 points in the previous month.

All CI components contributed positively, especially the Industrial Production Index at 0.4 per cent.

The growth was driven by the Manufacturing Index with major contributions from Transport Equipment & Other Manufactures (8.4 per cent), Petroleum, Chemical, Rubber & Plastic Products (7.7 per cent) and Electrical & Electronics Products (7.6 per cent) sub-sectors.

Year-on-year, the CI indicated a better trend by showing a moderate contraction of 1.4 per cent in the month under review from negative 2.3 per cent in November 2020.

— Bernama, Malay Mail —