June 11, 2020 / 4:52 AM / 2 months ago

Malaysia's April factory output plunges 32% on-year, worst on record

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia’s industrial production index plunged 32% in April from a year earlier, its biggest drop on record, government data showed on Thursday, hit by a sharp decline in activity because of coronavirus curbs.

The figure was nearly double the drop of 18% forecast by analysts surveyed by Reuters and steeper than a decline of 17.6% in January 2009, then the biggest recorded fall, Refinitiv Eikon data shows. In March, the index had fallen 4.9%.

The index measures factory output from the manufacturing, mining and electricity generation sectors.

All three main sectors tracked by the index posted declines in April, with manufacturing output falling 37.2% from a year earlier, the Statistics Department said in a statement.

Electricity output fell 19.2% on-year, while the mining sector index was down 19.6%, department data showed.

Malaysia’s exports tumbled 23.8% in April from a year earlier, for the steepest fall in a decade, as the pandemic disrupted global supply chains, government data showed last week.

Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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