Industrial production jumps by 7.6pc in July
KUALA LUMPUR: Industrial production (IP) grew at a faster pace by 7.6 per cent in July, exceeding public expectations.
According to the Statistics Department, the increase was contributed by manufacturing (5.4 per cent), mining (15.4 per cent) and electricity (6.2 per cent).
Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Dr Chua Hak Bin said the better-than-expec-ted IP reading was likely due to the resilient domestic demand as well as a pick-up in global demand.
Export growth surprised on the upside in July, expanding at its quickest pace in more than a year.
Total exports rose 4.5 per cent year-on-year, led by liquefied natural gas (67.8 per cent), metal manufactures (42.3 per cent) and crude petroleum (10.5 per cent).
Exports of machinery and appliances and tech products also rose, indicating an upturn in external demand.
An increase in shipments of mining and manufactured products probably gave industrial production the extra boost in July.
CIMB Investment Bank said the latest IPI data marked a good start to the third quarter of 2013.
"Our assessment of positive global data flows (Purchasing Managers Index and global chip sales) and domestic growth drivers (ongoing investment projects) shows that they will sustain IP momentum in the second half."
Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector posted a 3.8 per cent increase in sales to a record RM54.3 billion compared with RM52.3 billion a year ago.