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DOSM sees domestic economy improving in near term

Publish date: Thu, 29 Feb 2024, 03:26 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 29): Malaysia's economy is expected to improve in the near term, supported by resilient domestic demand and stable labour market conditions, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the Leading Index (LI) showed a 0.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth to reach 110.1 points in December 2023 compared to 109.8 points in December 2022.

“This notable rebound marked the first instance of positive growth following nine consecutive months of decline, largely propelled by a significant surge of 41.5% in the number of housing units approved,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

He said Malaysia’s economy grew 3.0% in the fourth quarter of 2023 (4Q2023), slightly slower than the 3.3% growth registered in 3Q2023.

In 4Q2023, the Industrial Production Index (IPI) rose 1.0% y-o-y, despite sales value of the manufacturing sector contracting 2.7% y-o-y to RM461.5 billion.

Meanwhile, revenue of the services sector registered a 6.6% y-o-y growth, reaching RM591.4 billion in 4Q2023, he noted.

He said the services volume index also grew 4.1% to 148.5 points.

In view of external sector performance, Mohd Uzir said that Malaysia’s exports in 4Q2023 declined 6.9% to register RM366.3 billion, while imports rose 1.3% to RM329.3 billion.

Looking into the labour market performance, the number of employed individuals grew 2.5% to 16.35 million in 4Q2023 while the unemployment rate stood at 3.3%, he said.

“Malaysia's labour landscape witnessed an improvement with the unemployment rate standing at 3.3%, or 0.3 percentage points lower, in 4Q2023, compared to 3.6% in the same period last year.

“This reduction was propelled by sustained employment growth, which increased 2.5% y-o-y, while the labour force rose 2.2% y-o-y, reaching 16.91 million individuals, maintaining a robust labour force participation rate of 70.1%,” he added.

In terms of prices, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) eased to 1.6% y-o-y in 4Q2023, while the Producer Price Index (PPI) came in at -1.0%.

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