Malaysia's latest data on Friday indicated that the country may be facing a sharp slowdown.
According to Malaysian Statistics Department statement, the latest leading index (LI) which is compiled to anticipate the peak and trough (turning points) in the economic activity in the short term, recorded largest monthly drop since November 1991 by declining further to negative 4.9 per cent in March 2020 from negative 0.8 per cent in the previous month.
The decrease were mainly attributed by expected sales value in manufacturing sector and number of new companies registered which significantly caused the deterioration, reports Xinhua.
Concurrently, the annual change of LI recorded negative 3.6 per cent in March 2020 as against 1.7 per cent in February 2020.
"The sharp drop in the LI reflects the shutting down in non-essential business activities following the unprecedented restrictions to curb the global pandemic," said the department. "Thus, it is expected that the Malaysian economy will be facing a sharp slowdown in the near future."
The Coincident Index (CI), which measured current economic activity also declined in March 2020.
The CI monthly change posted negative 6.9 percent in the reference month as against 0.7 per cent in February 2020.
All CI components recorded negative growth led by volume index of retail trade.
The annual change of CI also slowed to negative 3.6 per cent from 3.4 per cent recorded in the last month.