Malaysia’s April industrial output rises 50.1%, fastest in over decade

FILE PHOTO: A worker works at a production line in Top Glove factory in Shah Alam

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s industrial production rose by a record 50.1% in April from a year ago, marking the highest rate in more than a decade, on stronger demand across all sectors, government data showed on Friday.

The production index measures factory output in manufacturing, mining and electricity generation.

The expansion in April beat the 46.1% jump forecast by 10 economists in a Reuters poll, and sharply higher than the 9.3% rise recorded in March.

The previous record for industrial production was a 20.2% spike in March 2009.

The sharp improvement was reflective of recovery due to base effects from a coronavirus lockdown in March last year when the government shut down all economic activity, the Statistics Department said in a statement.

Manufacturing output rose 68% year-on-year in April, driven by demand for transport equipment and other manufactures, and non-metallic mineral products and basic metal and fabricated metal products, the department said.

Electricity output rose 14.3%, while mining rose for the first time since February last year by 22.9%, according to the data.

Malaysia’s exports rose 63% in April, its quickest pace since 1998, on a rise in shipments in all categories except liquefied natural gas and transport equipment.

(Reporting by Joseph Sipalan; editing by Uttaresh.V)