Malaysia's June exports grow 8.8% year-on-year, first jump in four months

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia’s exports in June rose 8.8% from last year, lifted by upbeat performances in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, government data showed on Tuesday.

The expansion beat the 8% drop forecast by analysts surveyed by Reuters. In May, exports had slumped 25.5%, its worst performance in more than a decade.

“Malaysia’s exports performance seems to recover from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic after registering a positive growth in the current month,” Chief Statistician Malaysia Mohd Uzir Mahidin said in a statement.

Imports in June shrank by 5.6% from a year earlier, slowing from the 30.4% decline recorded in the prior month, data from the ministry showed. Analysts had expected a fall of 10%.

Malaysia’s trade balance widened to a historical high of 20.9 billion ringgit ($4.92 billion) last month, from a 10.4 billion ringgit surplus in May.

Reporting by Liz Lee, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips