Malaysia's February industrial output rises 1.5% y/y, below forecast

KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s industrial production rose at a slower pace than expected in February, expanding 1.5% from a year earlier driven by higher factory output, government data showed on Friday.

The production index measures factory output in manufacturing, mining and electricity generation.

February’s expansion undershot the 2% growth forecast by 11 economists in a Reuters poll, but was faster than the 1.2% rise recorded in January.

Manufacturing output rose 4.5% year-on-year in February, helped by export-oriented industries like electrical and electronics which saw production grow 10.3%, and an 8.9% jump in petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic goods, the Statistics Department said in a statement.

Mining and electricity output, however, dropped 6% and 5.8%, respectively, the data showed.

Malaysia’s exports in February exceeded expectations rising 17.6% from a year earlier, also lifted by higher shipments of electrical and electronic goods as well as commodity-based products. (Reporting by Liz Lee Editing by Shri Navaratnam)