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Slower industrial output but momentum set to pick up [12-03-2013]  
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Industrial output grew at a slower pace than expected in January but the growth momentum is likely to have kicked in, as shown in the manufacturing activities.

All the indices measured under the Industrial Production Index (IPI) recorded growth versus the same period a year ago.

Manufacturing expanded by 4.9 per cent, electricity by 9.8 per cent and mining 2.4 per cent

"The major sub-sectors that registered increases in manufacturing output in January 2013 were electrical and electronics products (9.1 per cent); food, beverages and tobacco products (10.9 per cent); and transport equipment and other manufactures (24.6 per cent)," said the Statistics Department.

CIMB Investment Bank said January's industrial production data point to sustained economic growth momentum in the coming months.

"This corroborates with the improved global and regional sentiments, with the PMIs starting to turn up, albeit unevenly," said chief economist Lee Heng Guie, adding that industrial production will only show a clearer trend going into the second quarter when the seasonality effect normalises.

The general election spending effect is also expected to provide a short-term boost to economic activities.

Meanwhile, the manufacturing sector posted a 7.4 per cent growth in sales to RM52.4 billion. The improvement was led by the manufacture of electronic valves, tubes and printed circuit boards and manufacture of vegetable and animal oils and fats.

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