PETALING JAYA: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.2% in May 2019 to 121.4 as compared to 121.1 in the same month of the preceding year.
The main groups that contributed to the overall increase in the index were housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (+1.8%), alcoholic beverages & tobacco (+1.3%), food & non-alcoholic beverages (+1.2%), education (+1.2%), restaurants & hotels (+0.6%) and fur-nishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (+0.5%).
Chief statistician Malaysia Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said out of the 552 items covered in the CPI, 244 items showed positive growth in May 2019 as against May 2018.
“On the contrary, 280 items posted negative growth while 28 items remained unchanged,” he said in a statement today.
On a monthly basis, CPI rose 0.2% as compared with April 2019. Meanwhile, CPI for the period of January to May 2019 registered a decrease of 0.1% as compared to the same period last year.
In terms of overall CPI, three states namely Penang (+0.7%), Negri Sembilan (+0.6%) and Kuala Lumpur (+0.5%) surpassed the national CPI rate of 0.2% in May 2019 as compared with May 2018.
Meanwhile, Kelantan, Johor, Selangor and Putrajaya showed the same rate of increase as the national CPI.
Other than that, the increase in the index of food & non-alcoholic beverages was reflected in all states in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur (+2.8%), followed by Johor (+1.8%) and Negri Sembilan (+1.4%) surpassed the national index of food & non-alcoholic beverages in May 2019.
UOB Research said the inflation outlook remains benign for the rest of the year, after taking recent initiatives by the National Action Council on cost of living and year-ago base effects into consideration.
“Most new taxes or levies that will take effect in the second half of 2019 are expected to have minimal impact on headline inflation given their small weightage in the CPI basket. As such, we maintain our full-year inflation forecast of 1.5% for this year (2018: 1.0%),” it said.
Meanwhile, MIDF Research foresees headline inflation rate to average at 0.6% this year, lower than the 1% in 2018.
“Even with the removal of RON95 price cap, the prices are expected to be on the low side in line with declining global crude oil prices which are affected by the ballooning trade tensions, among others.We anticipate inflationary pressure mainly from fuel-related items to remain weak in line with our expectation of Brent crude oil price at US$70 per barrel for 2019.”