PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s consumer price index (CPI) increased at a lower rate of 1.1% in September 2019 to 121.8, compared with 120.5 at the same time last year, according to a statement released by the Department of Statistics today.
On a monthly basis, the CPI remained unchanged at 121.8. In August, the CPI expanded 1.5%.
The increase in the overall index in September was driven by the index of miscellaneous goods & services (2.7%), alcoholic beverages & tobacco (2.4%), food & non-alcoholic beverages (2.2%) and furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (2.1%).
Kuala Lumpur (1.7%), Selangor & Putrajaya (1.5%), Pulau Pinang (1.5%), Johor (1.2%) and Perak (1.2%) surpassed the national CPI rate of 1.1% in September 2019, compared to September 2018.
“Out of 552 items covered in CPI, 372 items showed an increase in September 2019 as against September 2018. On the contrary, 133 items declined while 47 items were unchanged,” said chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin in the statement.
All states registered an increase in the index of food & non-alcoholic beverages.
The highest increases were recorded by Kuala Lumpur (3.9%), followed by Johor (2.6%), Pulau Pinang (2.6%) and Selangor & Putrajaya (2.5%).
The increase surpassed the national index of food & non-alcoholic beverages in September 2019.
Meanwhile, CPI in the third quarter of 2019 increased 1.3% year-on-year to 121.7, as compared to 120.1 in 3Q2018.
The increase was mainly contributed by the index of furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (2.9%), food & non-alcoholic beverages (2.4%), alcoholic beverages & tobacco (2.4%) and miscellaneous goods & services (2.3%).
On a quarterly basis, the CPI increased 0.3%, against the second quarter of 2019.
UOB Research expects headline inflation to stay capped below 1.5% towards year-end before inching higher in early 2020 given that global crude oil prices remain stable at around US$60 per barrel and the targeted fuel subsidy scheme will only be implemented from Jan 2020.
“This brings average inflation to 0.8% in 2019. However, headline inflation is expected to edge up to 2.5% in 2020, partly reflecting the floating of fuel prices (petrol RON95 and diesel) in Peninsular Malaysia and year-ago low base effects.”