Malaysian Manufacturing Slows in October

Increase attributed to strong performance of refined petroleum products and computer products

Manufacturing sales, a key driver of the Maylaysian economy, rose 2.6% in October compared with a year earlier, according to official data released last week.

The statistics department attributed the modest rise, which compares with a revised 8.6% annual rise in September, to the strong performance of refined petroleum products and computer products.

Measured against the previous month, manufacturing sales in October fell 9.4% to a total of 45.9 billion ringgit (US$13 billion) from 50.7 billion ringgit.

The number of people employed in the manufacturing sector, which accounts for about a third of Malaysia's gross domestic product, fell 0.2% from the previous month to 1.065 million.

For the first 10 months of the year, the manufacturing sector grew 13.5% to 488.3 billion ringgit.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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