Malaysia's March CPI up 0.2 pct y/y, below forecast

Credit: REUTERS/Edgar Su

Malaysia's consumer price index rose 0.2 percent from a year earlier in March, rebounding after two months in deflationary territory, government data showed on Wednesday.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 (Reuters) - Malaysia's consumer price index rose 0.2 percent from a year earlier in March, rebounding after two months in deflationary territory, government data showed on Wednesday.

The rise in the index, however, was just below the 0.3 percent annual growth forecast in a Reuters poll.

Inflation in March was driven mostly by higher prices for housing and utilities, restaurants and hotels, education and food, data from the Statistics Department showed.

Price pressures have been mild since the government scrapped an unpopular consumption tax in June 2018, while transport costs have fallen amid lower global oil prices.

The index turned negative in January for the first time since November 2009, declining 0.7 percent year-on-year, as transport costs fell. In February, it dropped 0.4 percent.

In the first quarter, Malaysia's CPI fell 3 percent from the same period a year ago, with the transport sector index declining 5.9 percent, the department said.

The central bank has said, however, that Malaysia did not face serious deflationary pressures. Headline inflation, which came in at 1 percent in 2018, was likely to average higher this year, Bank Negara Malaysia said.

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

((rozanna.latiff@thomsonreuters.com; +603 23338034; Reuters Messaging: rozanna.latiff.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Reuters

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV.

Learn More