Malaysia's Industrial Production Expands Less Than Forecast

Malaysia's industrial production in January expanded at a pace sharply below expectations, as growth slowed in the manufacturing sector, government data showed today.

According to Malaysian Statistics Department data Tuesday, the manufacturing sector output for the month increased by 4.8 percent year-on-year, slowdown from 5.3 percent in December 2017.

Bank Negara Malaysia had kept the benchmark interest rate unchanged at its second-of-six scheduled rate-setting meetings earlier this month, citing steady economic growth outlook and moderating inflation.

Meanwhile, the mining sector output registered a growth of 1.5%, contributed by the increases in crude oil index (1.8%) and natural gas index (1.5%). Manufacturing climbed 4.8 percent and electricity output advanced 4.3 percent.

However, on a monthly basis, industrial production logged a decrease of 4.5 percent in January.

Exports from the trade-reliant Southeast Asian economy had surged 18% in January from a year earlier driven largely by electrical and electronics goods, according to data released last week.

Factory output grew 3 percent from a year earlier in January, well below the 7.1 percent annual rise forecast in a Reuters poll.

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