Malaysia Inflation Rate At Over 8-Year High Of 4.5% In February


Consumer prices in Malaysia rose 4.5 percent year-on-year in February of 2017, compared to a 3.2 percent increase in January and above markets expectations of a 4.1 percent rise. It was the highest inflation rate since November 2008, driven by faster rises in prices of food and non alcoholic beverages and housing and utilities while cost of transport surged.

Year-on-year, upward prices pressure came from: food & non-alcoholic beverages (4.3 percent from 4.0 percent in January); alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.2 percent from 0.2 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (2.2 percent from 1.9 percent); furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance (1.5 percent from 1.5 percent), health (2.4 percent from 2.5 percent), transport (17.9 percent from 8.3 percent), recreation services & culture (3.1 percent from 3.3 percent), education (1.7 percent from 2.0 percent), restaurants & hotels (2.3 percent from 2.1 percent) and miscellaneous goods & services (1.4 percent from 1.4 percent). In contrast, downward prices pressure came from: clothing and footwear (-0.2 percent from -0.7 percent) and communication (-0.3 percent from -0.2 percent).

Among food & non-alcoholic beverages, customers had to pay more for all categories: food (4.5 percent from 4.1 percent); food at home (4.8 percent from 4.4 percent); rice, bread & other cereals (0.8 percent from 0.8 percent); meat (4.6 percent from 2.0 percent); fish & seafood (4.5 percent from 6.1 percent); milk & eggs (0.2 percent from 0.5 percent), oils & fats (38.3 percent from 37.9 percent), fruits (3.4 percent from 2.1 percent); vegetables (9.5 percent from 7.8 percent); sugar, jam, honey, chocolate & confectionary (0.4 percent from 0.4 percent); food products (5.3 percent from 5.4 percent), food away from home (4.1 percent from 3.6 percent). Meanwhile, prices of coffee, tea, cocoa & non-alcoholic beverages fell 0.2 percent (compared to a flat reading in January 2017). 

Core consumer prices went up 2.5 percent year-on-year, following a 2.3 percent gain in the prior month and marking the highest figure in eleven months.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up by 1.3 percent in February, faster than a 1.1 percent rise in a month earlier. Prices rose for: food & non-alcoholic beverages & tobacco ( 1.2 percent); clothing and footwear (0.2 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (0.4 percent); furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance ( 0.4 percent), health (0.3 percent), transport (5.5 percent), recreation services & culture (0.4 percent), restaurants & hotels ( 0.6 percent) and  miscellaneous goods and services (1.4 percent). In contrast, cost fell forcommunication (-0.1 percent) and education (-0.2 percent). Cost was flat for alcoholic beverages & tobacco.

Statistics Malaysia l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
3/24/2017 4:39:16 AM