KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia's economy is expected to grow at a slower pace in the third quarter of 2023 based on the leading index which decreased 1.2 percent to 110.1 points in March, official data showed Thursday.
The leading index is a predictive tool used to anticipate economic upturns and downturns in an average of four to six months ahead.
The performance of the leading index was weighed down by significant decreases in real imports of semiconductors and of the Bursa Malaysia industrial index, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) said in a statement.
Looking at the smoothed long-term trend in March 2023, the leading index recorded 99.3 points as against 99.2 points in February 2023.
Although it remained below the trend of 100 points, the economy is anticipated to grow modestly in the near term.
The expectation is in view of the global headwinds and domestic uncertainties.
Meanwhile, the coincident index, which reflects the current economic condition, rose 3.4 percent to 121.9 points in March.
The increase was contributed by all components except capacity utilization and manufacturing.
The monthly coincident index also recorded an increase of 0.2 percent, supported mainly by the volume index of retail trade. ■