Malaysian manufacturing sales, a key driver of the economy, surged 18.5% in April compared with a year earlier, according to official data released June 20. The statistics department credited the improvement, which compares with a revised 10.2% annual rise in March, to the strong performance of refined petroleum products, as well as computers and computer peripherals.
Measured against the previous month, manufacturing sales in April were down 0.1% for a total of 48.27 billion ringgit (US$14.9 billion) from 48.33 billion ringgit.
The number of people employed in the manufacturing sector, which accounts for about a third of Malaysia's gross domestic product, rose 0.9% to 1.096 million in April.
For the first four months of the year, the manufacturing sector grew 15.8% to 187.4 billion ringgit.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008