Malaysia Consumer Prices Fall More than Expected


Malaysia's consumer prices decreased 0.4 percent year-on-year in February 2019, following a 0.7 percent fall in the previous month and more than an expected 0.3 percent drop. This was the second annual straight decline in consumer prices since November 2009, mainly due to transport prices while inflation was steady for both food and housing.

Year-on-year, cost of transport dropped 6.8 percent in February, compared to a 7.8 percent fall in January, following the government's recent decision to change its fuel subsidy model by setting prices every week. At the same time, cost continued to fall for: miscellaneous goods & services (-2.2 percent vs -2.4 percent in January); recreation services & culture (-0.4 percent, the same pace as in January); communication (-1.2, the same pace as in January); clothing and footwear (-3.2 percent vs -3.3 percent); and health (-0.4 percent vs -0.5 percent). In contrast, inflation was steady for housing, water, electricity, gas, & other fuels (at 2 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (at 1.1 percent), while cost rose faster for restaurants and hotels (1.3 percent vs 1.2 percent) and education (1.3 percent vs 0.9 percent). In addition, prices of furnishings, household equipment & routine maintenance went up 0.1 percent, rebounding from a 0.3 percent fall in January. 

Prices of food & non-alcoholic beverages went up 1 percent in February, the same pace as in January. Among food, cost continued to rise for: meat (2.1 percent vs 2.4 percent in January); fish & seafood (0.1 percent vs 1.2 percent); milks & eggs (1.8 percent vs 0.6 percent); fruits (0.1 percent vs 1.4 percent); and food away from home (3.4 percent vs 3.3 percent). 

Core consumer prices rose 0.3 percent year-on-year in February, faster than a 0.2 percent gain in January and reaching the sixth straight month of increase.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose by 0.2 percent in February, swinging from a 0.5 percent fall in January.


Malaysia Consumer Prices Fall More than Expected


Statistics Malaysia l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
3/22/2019 12:27:14 PM