Malaysia February factory output up 4.7%, below forecast

An employee holding a circuit board on the production line at the Robert Bosch plant in the Bayan Lepas Industrial Zone on Penang Island, Malaysia, on Jan 17, 2013.
An employee holding a circuit board on the production line at the Robert Bosch plant in the Bayan Lepas Industrial Zone on Penang Island, Malaysia, on Jan 17, 2013.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG NEWS

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Malaysia's industrial production in February rose 4.7 per cent from a year earlier, rebounding after two months in which the pace of expansion slowed, government data showed on Tuesday (April 11).

Factory output was up from the 3.5 per cent annual increase in January, but missed the 7.3 per cent rise forecast in a Reuters poll.

February's expansion was supported by gains in the manufacturing, electricity and mining sectors, data from the Statistics Department showed.

Manufacturing output rose 6.5 per cent from a year earlier, helped by strong growth in the food and electronic products sub-sectors, the data showed.

Mining output grew only marginally at 0.4 per cent, due a decline in the crude oil index.

Malaysia's export growth was at a near seven-year high in February, at 26.5 per cent above a year earlier. This was due to a jump in shipments of manufactured goods and commodities and a low base for comparison, thanks to the timing of the Chinese New Year holiday.

According to the IHS Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index, Malaysian factory activity contracted again in March, but output rose for a second month in a row, the first back-to-back growth in two years.