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22 JAN 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is expected to continue to chart an economic recovery based on the 7.1 per cent increase in the Leading Index (LI) to 109.1 points in November 2020 against 120.1 points a year earlier, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the monthly change in the LI showed the same trend, rising 0.4 per cent in November 2020 against -0.7 per cent in the previous month.

The growth was propelled mainly by the real imports of semiconductors, particularly electronic integrated circuits.

“In spite of a better performance of the LI, the reimplementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in selected states as well as the deployment of vaccines are posting uncertainties in the future.

“However, the LI raises hope that economic recovery remains in sight amid a likelihood affecting the pace of economic recovery,” he said in a statement today on the Leading, Coincident and Lagging Indexes for November 2020.

The LI is used to predict the economic direction in average of four to six months ahead.

Meanwhile, the Bursa Malaysia Industrial Index - a component of the LI - maintained its momentum in November 2020, mainly fuelled by the Health Care Index.

The Coincident Index (CI), which represents the current economic performance, increased 0.4 per cent to reach 112.4 points in November 2020 from 112.0 points in October 2020.

“The main component which influenced the increase was real contributions to the Employees Provident Fund (0.2 per cent).

“At the same time, the CI posted a -2.3 per cent annual change in November 2020 from a -2.4 per cent in the preceding month,” Mohd Uzir said.

On the quarterly economic outlook, he anticipated that economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2020 to soften against the third quarter of 2020 due to the targeted Conditional MCO imposed in most states.

He also said the second phase of the Malaysia Population and Housing Census 2020 via face-to-face interview was rescheduled, following the implementation of MCO 2.0 on Jan 11, 2021.

Therefore, Mohd Uzir urged those who had not completed the census to take the opportunity to fill in the online census (e-Census) which was reopened.

Further information on the Malaysia Census 2020 can be found through the census portal or social media @MyCensus2020. -Bernama

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