Malaysia factory output plunges 32% in April, worst on record

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) – Malaysia’s industrial production index plunged 32 per cent in April from a year earlier, its biggest drop on record, government data showed on Thursday (June 11), hit by a sharp decline in activity because of coronavirus curbs.

The figure was nearly double the drop of 18 per cent forecast by analysts surveyed by Reuters and steeper than a decline of 17.6 per cent in January 2009, then the biggest recorded fall, Refinitiv Eikon data shows. In March, the index had fallen 4.9 per cent.

The index measures factory output from the manufacturing, mining and electricity generation sectors.

All three main sectors tracked by the index posted declines in April, with manufacturing output falling 37.2 per cent from a year earlier, the Statistics Department said in a statement.

Electricity output fell 19.2 per cent on-year, while the mining sector index was down 19.6 per cent, department data showed.

Malaysia’s exports tumbled 23.8 per cent in April from a year earlier, for the steepest fall in a decade, as the pandemic disrupted global supply chains, government data showed last week.

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