Stats Dept: Malaysia’s Leading Index down 4pc in July on prolonged economic disruption

Malaysia’s economic outlook is likely be surrounded by uncertainty, said Mohd Uzir. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Malaysia’s economic outlook is likely be surrounded by uncertainty, said Mohd Uzir. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 —  Malaysia’s Leading Index (LI) dropped 4.0 per cent in July 2021 year-on-year (y-o-y) to 105.0 points versus 109.4 points in July 2020, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM).

The LI is a predictive tool used to anticipate economic upturns and downturns in an average of four to six months ahead.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said “the prolonged disruptions to the economy continued to affect the performance of the LI which showed a declining trend in July 2021.”

He pointed out that the 4.4 points downward shift was mainly driven by the reduction in the number of new companies registered, with a total of 2,646 newly registered local companies in July 2021 against 5,522 companies in the same month of last year. 

“Besides that, the decrease was also influenced by the base effect from the previous year.

“Concurrently, the LI also posted a month-on-month decrease in July 2021 at negative 0.6 per cent, primarily caused by real imports of other basic precious and other non-ferrous metals (-1.3 per cent),” the chief statistician said in a statement today.

He said considering the weaker performance of LI in the reference month and the declining trend of smoothed LI growth rate since March 2021, it is expected that Malaysia’s economic outlook will likely be surrounded by uncertainty.

“Nevertheless, the effectiveness of various economic and health strategies alongside the cooperation of the people in adopting the new normal and adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) may revive the near-term economic prospects,” he added. 

The Coincident Index (CI) continued to show a higher downward trend year-on-year, which declined 5.2 per cent (June 2021: -3.1 per cent). It registered negative 2.5 per cent month-on-month, attributed to unfavourable performance in almost all of CI components, mainly Volume Index of Retail Trade (-1.5 per cent).

Meanwhile, the online Malaysia Population and Housing Census 2020 (Malaysia Census 2020) is being conducted nationwide until full coverage has been accomplished.

“All Malaysian residents are urged to cooperate in realising the success of Malaysia Census 2020 to ensure that no one is left behind as your data is our future,” Mohd Uzir said. 

For more info, please visit the Malaysia Census 2020 portal at www.mycensus.gov.my or social media @MyCensus2020. — Bernama

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