KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia's industrial output, which is measured by industrial production index (IPI), expanded 4.2 percent in April from a year ago, supported by the manufacturing sector. Data released by Malaysia's Statistics Department Friday showed the growth came in a shade slower than the 4.6 percent growth in March. The 4.2 percent increase in April was contributed by the strong growth in manufacturing sector by 6.7 percent. However, the mining and electricity index declined by 2 percent and 1.5 percent respectively. The major sub-sectors which expanded in April were electrical and electronics (E&E) products (9.7 percent); food, beverages and tobacco (15.4 percent); and petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products (3 percent). Economists have mixed views on the latest IPI, which is within their expectations. Yeah Kim Leng, professor of economics at the business school of Sunway University, told Xinhua the IPI indicated the country's industrial output remains robust at the start of the second quarter as shown by stronger increase in manufacturing. "Noteworthy is the sustained, close to double digit rise in E&E manufacturing subsector," he said. Given that global purchasing managers index continues on expansionary trajectory, he expects Malaysia's industrial output to continue expanding at a moderate to strong pace in the second and third quarter. Inter-pacific Research head Pong Teng Siew opined that the negative growth of the mining and electricity indexes showed a slow-down of energy intensive industry. However, he expects the country's IPI to be flattish in the next few months as the manufacturing numbers are likely to be lower due to high base effect last year.