PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s inflation rate rose at its quickest pace in eight years to 4.5% in February 2017 year-on-year due to rising costs for transport, higher than economists’ forecast of 3.9%.
The Statistics Department said the February consumer price index (CPI), a broad measure of inflation, increased by 4.5% to 119.7 compared with 114.5 in the corresponding month of the preceding year.
However, the department said core inflation remained stable at 2.5%
Among the major groups which recorded increases were the indices for transport (+17.9%), food and non-alcoholic beverages (+4.3%), recreation services and culture (+3.1%), health (+2.4%), restaurants and hotels (+2.3%) and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (+2.2%).
The index of transport group showed a significant increase of 17.9% on a year-on-year basis in February 2017, after rising 8.3% in January 2017.
“The average price of 1 litre of RON95 petrol was RM2.30 in February 2017 compared to RM1.75 in February 2016. As for RON97, the average price increased to RM2.60 in February 2017 from RM2.05 in February 2016,” the Statistics Department said.
The index for food and non-alcoholic beverages which accounted 30.2% in the CPI weights, increased 4.3% in February 2017.
The increase was fuelled by food sub-group which comprised of oils and fats (38.3%), vegetables (9.5%), meat (4.6%) and fish and seafood (4.5%). as for food away from home index, it continued to rise in February 2017 and showed an increase of 4.1%.