KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 (Xinhua) -- The Malaysian economy is expected to expand at a slower rate in the next four to six months ahead, the statistics department Monday said based on the performance of Malaysian economic indicators in May. The department said in a statement that the monthly change of leading index (LI) showed a negative growth of 1.1 percent to 117.8 points in May from 119.1 points as recorded in April. This was mainly due to the 0.5-percent decrease in the number of new companies registered, it added. The annual change of LI also registered a decrease of 0.7 percent in the same month as against 1.4 percent in April, it said. The LI indicators are designed to observe the economic performance in the short term. Meanwhile, the coincident index (CI) which reflects the current economic activity, improved in May, as it posted a growth of 0.3 percent in the reference month, according to the statement. The volume index of retail trade (0.5 percent) and real salaries and wages in manufacturing sector (0.2 percent) were the components that accounted for the increase. The annual change of CI also rose 2.2 percent in May. The diffusion index for CI remained at 66.7 percent since January, but the level of diffusion index for LI was below 50 percent (14.3 percent).