December CPI up 1.8% year on year

KUALA LUMPUR: The consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.8% to 116.9 in December 2016 from 114.8 in December 2015, with the increase in the indices for food & non-alcoholic beverages (+3.7%) and housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (+2.1%).

These were offset by the decrease in the indices of communication by 2.6%, transport (-0.6%) and clothing & footwear (-0.5%).

Core inflation, which excludes most volatile items of fresh food, as well as administered prices of goods and services, rose 2.1% in December 2016 compared to the same month of the previous year.

According to the Department of Statistics, the index for food & non-alcoholic beverages increased higher than the rate of overall CPI, fuelled by food sub-group such as oils & fats; fish & seafood; vegetables and meat. Its increase was also reflected in each state in Malaysia especially in highly urbanised Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Putrajaya, Penang, Johor and Malacca.

The transport group, however, showed a smaller decline of 0.6% on a year-on-year basis in December 2016 after falling 1.5% in November 2016 and 5.5% in October 2016.

On a monthly basis, the index for food & non-alcoholic beverages increased 0.6% in December 2016 following an increase of 1.0% in November 2016. Non-food index decreased 0.3% in December 2016 compared with the preceding month.

Based on a seasonally adjusted term, the overall CPI for December 2016 remained unchanged at 116.9 as compared to November 2016.

For the full year of 2016, the CPI saw a rise of 2.1% as compared to 2015, mainly contributed by the index for food & non-alcoholic beverages (+3.9%).