Malaysia Inflation Rate Eases To 6-Month Low Of 3.2% In July


Consumer prices in Malaysia rose 3.2 percent from a year earlier in July of 2017, compared to a 3.6 percent rise in the prior month and below market expectations of a 3.3 percent increase. It was the lowest inflation rate since January, mainly due to a slowdown in the cost of food & non-alcoholic beverages, recreation services & culture and transport while inflation was steady for housing & utilities.

Year-on-year, prices increased at a slower pace for: food & non-alcoholic beverages (4.2 percent from 4.3 percent in June), transport (7.7 percent from 10.5 percent), recreation services & culture (2.6 percent from 3 percent), education (1.6 percent from 1.7 percent) and  miscellaneous goods & services (1.1 percent from 1.2 percent). Costs went up more than in a month earlier for: restaurants and hotels (2.6 percent from 2.5 percent), furnishings, household equipment & routine maintenance (2.6 percent from 2.1 percent) and health (2.9 percent from 2.6 percent). In contrast, costs fell at the same rate for: clothing & footwear (-0.4 percent) and communication (-0.3 percent). Inflation was steady for: alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.1 percent); and housing & utilities (2.2 percent).

Among food & non-alcoholic beverages, customers had to pay more for most categories: food at home (4.1 percent from 4.2 percent in May); rice, bread & other cereals (1.8 percent from 0.8 percent), meat (1.3 percent from 4.2 percent); fish & seafood (6.7 percent from 7.2 percent); oils & fats (39.5 percent from 39.4 percent), fruits (3.6 percent from 3.7 percent); vegetables (3.3 percent from 1.8 percent); sugar, jam, honey, chocolate & confectionary (1.6 percent from 1.5 percent), food products (3.4 percent, same as in June) and food away from home (4.9 percent from 4.8 percent). Meanwhile, prices of milk & eggs fell 0.5 percent (from -1.2 percent) and those of coffee, tea, cocoa & non-alcoholic beverages declined by 0.3 percent (from -0.7 percent).

Core consumer prices went up 2.6 percent year-on-year, slightly faster than a 2.5 percent gain in the prior month.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices declined by 0.1 percent in July, less than the 0.2 percent drop in June, due to a rebound in miscellaneous goods & services (0.3 percent from -0.1 percent), while prices declined less for transport (-1.1 percent from -2.4 percent). Moreover, prices accelerated for furnishings, household equipment & routine maintenance (0.7 percent from 0 percent), health (0.3 percent from 0.2 percent) and restaurants & hotels (0.2 percent from 0.1 percent).

Statistics Malaysia l Charles | charles@tradingeconomics.com
8/23/2017 4:50:24 AM