KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia's leading index (LI), a predictive tool used to anticipate economic upturns and downturns in an average of four to six months ahead, eased to negative annual growth of 0.5 percent in April, from negative annual growth of 1.4 percent in March, signifying better economic recovery ahead, official data showed Thursday.
The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) said in a statement that the decrease in LI was influenced mainly by the drop in the number of housing units approved caused by the decline in applications from developers during the said month.
Based on month-on-month comparison, the LI slipped to negative growth of 0.5 percent, dragged by the number of housing units approved, number of new companies registered and Bursa Malaysia Industrial Index.
DOSM opined that the direction portrayed by the smoothed LI remained favorable by consistently above the long-term trend and registered better index points.
This implies that the trend of Malaysia's economic recovery is in a better direction, it said.
Nevertheless, it said the issue of inflation and rising commodity prices need to be taken into account considering the global situation.
Meanwhile, the Coincident Index (CI) which measures the overall current economic performance is picking up since February, reflecting an increase in economic activities with the economic and social activities operating at full capacity.
According to DOSM, the CI continued to climb by 5.3 percent year-on-year in April.
On a monthly basis, the growth of CI increased to 2 percent in the reference month as compared to 1.4 percent in the previous month, driven by the significant increase in the volume index of retail trade. ■