Malaysia’s manufacturing sales up RM124.6t in Dec 2020, highest since March when MCO began

Soo Wern Jun
·2-min read
Workers are pictured at a factory in Batu Maung November 22, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Workers are pictured at a factory in Batu Maung November 22, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — Sales from Malaysia’s manufacturing sector rose 4.5 per cent last December, data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) released today showed.

The RM124.6 billion sales value in December was also the sector’s highest since March 2020, which was when the Covid-19 epidemic hit Malaysia in earnest, triggering the first movement control order.

The DOSM data showed the major sub-sectors contributing to manufacturing’s growth in that month were: transport equipment and other manufactures (8.4 per cent), petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products (7.7 per cent) and electrical and electronics products (7.6 per cent).

Month-on-month, manufacturing’s sales value increased 3.9 per cent, the DOSM said.

DOSM also noted that the sales value channelled by each employee on average rose by 6.7 per cent to RM56,644 last December when compared with the same month in 2019 even though the overall manufacturing sales value last year showed a decline of 2.1 per cent to RM1.35 trillion compared to the same period in 2019.

Output for manufacturing also rose by 4.1 per cent last December, year-on-year.

As such, Malaysia’s Industrial Production Index (IPI) — which measures the economic output of the industrial sector in the country as a whole — registered positive growth of 1.7 per cent in December 2020, driven by the manufacturing index at 4.1 per cent for that month.

Manufacturing’s IPI for the whole fourth quarter of 2020 rose 2.8 per cent.

In contrast, the indices for mining and electricity dropped 5.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively in both the fourth quarter last year.

Output for mining also dropped 5.4 per cent in December 2020 compared to the same month in 2019.

Its decline in output was attributed to a decrease in crude oil and condensate index (-9.0 per cent) and natural gas index (-2.5 per cent).

Output in the electricity sector edged down 0.2 per cent in December 2020 compared to the same month in 2019.

Although the IPI for December 2020 went up, a decrease of 0.3 per cent was noted in October-December, compared to the same fourth quarter period in 2019.

Overall, the IPI for 2020 declined 4.2 per cent compared to 2019.

DOSM said this decrease influenced by all indices; mining index (-9.7 per cent), electricity index (-3.7 per cent) and manufacturing index (-2.7 per cent).

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