August CPI up 3.7%

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s consumer price index (CPI) expanded at a higher rate of 3.7% year-on-year to 119.9 in August 2017 from 115.6 in the corresponding month of the preceding year, after a moderation in the past five months.

The Department of Statistics said in a statement today the higher rate was led by increases in the indices for transport (11.7%), food and non-alcoholic beverages (4.3%), restaurants and hotels (2.8%), health (2.7%), furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (2.7%) and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (2.4%).

Based on a seasonally adjusted term, the overall CPI for August 2017 increased 0.9% compared to July 2017.

Core inflation rose 2.4% compared with the same month of the previous year.

For the period of January to August 2017, the CPI registered a rise of 3.9% compared with the same period last year.

MIDF Research is maintaining its inflation forecast of 3.8% for 2017 in anticipation of a slow down in prices during the second half of the year.

“The impact of cost-driven factors are tapering off due to moderating in global commodity prices and modest appreciation of the ringgit,” it said in a research note today.

Nonetheless, given the higher oil and fuel prices, it anticipates that September’s inflation rate will record close to 4% with fuel-related items remain as dominant driving factors.