Malaysia – Jan Leading Index
25/03/2020 03:45 pm MYT
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In Jan, the leading index increased marginally by 0.1%, month-on-month, after two consecutive monthly contractions. Meanwhile, the 6-month smoothed growth rate grew 1.5% – see figure 1. The coincident index edged up 0.2%, month-on-month, whereas the 6-month smoothed growth rate rose by 2.6%. This was mainly contributed by the expansion in manufacturing employment. Meanwhile, the diffusion index for the leading index decreased from 71.4% in Dec 2019 to 57.1%, while the diffusion index for the coincident index dropped from 100% in the preceding month to 83.3%.


Year-on-year, the leading index grew 0.7%, a significant moderation from the 1.9% growth in the preceding month. This suggests that the Malaysian economic growth is expected to slow down in the months ahead. However, the index has not taken into account the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Movement Control Order.


Note from Publisher
The Covid-19 pandemic that is currently ravaging the globe caught the world totally unprepared. With the world going into lockdown, a recession that leaves no nation untouched is inevitable. However, it is important to remember the crucial lessons this unfolding tragedy bears for mankind.

First of all, while human civilisation has made great strides and reached advancement never before thought possible, it still needs to respect the Mother Nature. We have forgotten how much we are at the mercy of nature. The rapid contagion of and destruction by the novel coronavirus show us how vulnerable we ultimately still are. We should of course be thankful that this coronavirus is not particularly deadly. But the fact remains that Covid-19 bears with it a wake-up call for human beings on how we should live, and how our technological progress means little if it only serves as the tool of an environmentally exploitative status quo.

Secondly, a correct response is everything. Countries that view the threat seriously and responded with quick and decisive action have been more able to cope with the virus attack and bring down the fatality rate. China and South Korea are the best examples. On the other hand, the US and many European countries are examples to avoid. Fortunately, the virus has yet to attack developing countries with a huge population and poor healthcare facilities in a serious manner.

Last but not least, we are all on this planet together. Despite the seemingly impenetrable barriers of our own little lives, we are not immune to something that is happening thousands of miles away. We must find a way to move forward as one, or we will all go down with this ship.
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