Monday 17 Jun 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (May 26): Malaysia’s inflation continued to ease to 3.3% in April 2023 — after it declined to 3.4% in March 2023, from 3.7% in January and February 2023 — again due to restaurants and hotels (6.6%), and food and non-alcoholic beverages (6.3%), said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).

The latest inflation rate, measured by the consumer price index (CPI), meets the expectation of a Bloomberg poll among economists, which showed that April CPI would ease to 3.3%.

In its statement on Friday (May 26), DOSM said the increase in April’s inflation was offset by the slower increase in the transport group of 2.3%, as compared to 2.4% in March. 

DOSM noted that the weight for the food and non-alcoholic beverages (29.5%), transport (14.6%), and restaurants and hotels (2.9%) groups comprised 47% of the total weight of the CPI, which has a significant impact on the inflation rate and cost of living. 

Under the food and non-alcoholic beverages group, DOSM said the food-at-home component moderated to 5% in April, as compared to 5.6% recorded in the previous month. 

“The implementation of the Maximum Price Scheme for Festive Season for the period of 16 days starting April 15 to April 30 to a certain extent has eased the inflation of this component from continuing to rise,” the agency deduced. 

It added that the government’s Menu Rahmah initiative, which offers ready-to-eat food at a price of RM5 and below, helped the food-away-from-home component record a lower increase of 8.1% as compared to March 2023 (8.6%).

Apart from that, DOSM said the increase in inflation for April was also contributed by the rise in furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance group (3.0%); miscellaneous goods and services (2.5%), health (2.1%), and recreation services and culture (1.8%).

Meanwhile, the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels group, as well as the education group, both recorded an increase of 1.6%, it said. DOSM added that the alcoholic beverages and tobacco segment inclined 0.6%, while clothing and footwear inclined 0.5%. 

The latest CPI was recorded at 130, as against 125.9 in the same month of the previous year.

DOSM said that core inflation, which measures changes in the prices of all goods and services (excluding volatile prices of fresh food, as well as government-controlled prices of goods), also eased to 3.6% in April versus 3.8% in March. 

The slower inflation was mainly due to a slower increase in the food and non-alcoholic beverages group, which recorded 7.2% (March: 7.5%), and restaurants and hotels (6.6%) (March: 7.2%), it added. 

At the state level, nine states recorded increases that were below the national inflation level, with Kedah and Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan recording the lowest increases of 2.0% respectively, DOSM said. 

Five states recorded increases above the national inflation level, namely Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya (4.1%), Sarawak (3.9%), Selangor (3.8%), Pahang (3.5%) and Perak (3.4%), the agency added. 

For comparison with other countries, DOSM said Malaysia recorded a lower inflation rate than the Eurozone (7.0%), Philippines (6.6%), Singapore (5.7%), USA (4.9%) and Indonesia (4.3%), but higher than Vietnam (2.8%) and Thailand (2.7%).

Edited ByLam Jian Wyn
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