Malaysia's annual inflation rate came in at 0.2 percent in May 2019, unchanged from the previous month but less than market consensus of 0.3 percent. Main upward pressure came from both food and housing & utilities prices while transport prices continued to drop but at a slower pace.
Year-on-year, prices of food & non-alcoholic beverages increased by 1.2 percent in May, faster than a 1.1 percent rise in April, and the highest since October last year. Among food, cost continued to rise for: fish & seafood (0.9 percent vs 0.2 percent in April); milk & eggs (0.7 percent vs 1.9 percent); and food away from home (2.9 percent vs 3.1 percent), with cost of vegetables (4.5 percent vs 2.2 percent). Meantime, prices continued to fall for rice, bread & other sereals (-0.3 percent vs -0.4 percent); meat (-3.1 percent vs -3.6 percent); oils & fats (-1.2 percent vs -1.0 percent); sugar, jam, honey (-2.2 percent vs -2.2 percent); food products (-0.8 percent vs -0.5 percent) while fruits prices edged down (-0.1 percent vs 0.1 percent)
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Also, inflation accelerated for both alcoholic beverages & tobacco (1.3 percent vs 1.2 percent) and furnishings, household equipment & routine maintenance (0.5 percent vs 0.2 percent).
On the other hand, inflation slowed for for: housing, water, electricity, gas, & other fuels (1.8 percent vs 2 percent); restaurants and hotels (0.6 percent vs 0.8 percent) while inflation was steady for education (at 1.2 percent). In contrast, cost continued to drop for: transport (-2.5 percent vs -2.6 percent); clothing and footwear (-3.2 percent, the same pace in April); miscellaneous goods & services (-2.1 percent vs -2 percent); health (-0.3 percent, the same pace in the prior month); recreation services & culture (-0.4 percent, the same pace as in the previous month), and communication (-0.9 percent vs -1.1 percent).
Core consumer prices rose 0.4 percent year-on-year in May, softer than a 0.5 percent gain in April, the lowest figure since February.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up by 0.2 percent in May, following a flat reading in April.