KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysia's March industrial output growth likely slowed, although it is expected to remain solid thanks to strong exports.
The industrial production index, which measures output from mines, factories and power plants, likely rose 4.3% in March compared with a year ago, according to the median forecast from a poll of seven economists by The Wall Street Journal. It climbed 4.7% in February.
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"The production of export-oriented industries as well as commodities would help to maintain the pace of industrial production index growth," Dr. Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid, chief economist at Kuala Lumpur-based Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd., told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
"The implementation of infrastructure projects would also support the production activities among the domestic-oriented industries such as building materials and machinery equipment," he added.
Malaysia's exports in March grew 24.1% compared with a year ago, beating expectations on the back of improvements in all major export sectors.
The faster-than-expected export growth adds to encouraging signs of economic expansion in Southeast Asia's third-largest economy.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Monday that the economy is expected to expand faster this year, by between 4.3% and 4.8%, supported by healthy domestic demand and robust private sector investment. Malaysia's GDP grew 4.2% last year.
Malaysia will announce its official industrial-production data at 0400 GMT on Thursday.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 08, 2017 23:13 ET (03:13 GMT)