KUALA LUMPUR: The manufacturing industry operated at 80.8 per cent capacity in the first quarter of 2024 (1Q 2024), up from 79.8 per cent a year ago, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM).

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the higher capacity rate led to a 2.1 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) increase in the Industrial Production Index (IPI) for the manufacturing industry during the quarter.

“The increased capacity utilisation rate in 1Q 2024 was driven by performance in January (80.9 per cent) and March (81.6 per cent), both exceeding the 80 per cent mark, while February 2024 stood at 79.8 per cent,“ he said in a statement.

Factors such as low demand, inadequate supply of materials, and ongoing machinery and equipment repairs or maintenance continued to hamper full utilisation of capacity in the manufacturing sector.

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Mohd Uzir added that capacity utilisation in export-oriented industries experienced an upward trend during the quarter, rising by 0.1 percentage points y-o-y to 79.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, domestic-oriented industries expanded significantly to a capacity utilisation rate of 83.7 per cent in 1Q 2024, up by 2.8 percentage points compared to the same quarter the previous year.

Four states demonstrated capacity utilisation rates surpassing the national rate in 1Q 2024: Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan (95.9 per cent), Negeri Sembilan (84.9 per cent), Selangor (83.1 per cent) and Johor (81.0 per cent).

“Nearly all states witnessed a y-o-y increase in capacity utilisation, except for Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

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“Additionally, Kelantan recorded the lowest capacity utilisation rate at 69.7 per cent, mainly attributed to the food products manufacturing industry,“ he added.