Malaysian Manufacturing Plunges 26.2% in April

Poor perfomrance in steel and computer industries

Malaysia's manufacturing sales, which are a key driver of the economy, sank 26.2% in April from a year earlier, according to official data released on June 18.

The government's statistics department attributed the sharp fall to the poor performance of the iron and steel sector and the computer industry amid lower demand due to the global economic slowdown.

The number of people employed in the manufacturing sector, which accounts for about a third of Malaysia's gross domestic product, fell 7.7% from the same period a year ago, the department said.

Revised March manufacturing figures showed sales were down 25.6% year-on-year.

Malaysia has said its economy is likely to contract by 4%-5% this year, despite a massive $16.2 billion stimulus package unveiled in March, after the economy shrank 6.2% in the first quarter.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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