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