Malaysia inflation lower than expected

  • Business
  • Thursday, 24 May 2012

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia's inflation in April eased to 1.9% compared to the same month a year ago against expectations for a 2.1% rise, according to survey of analysts by Bloomberg, which would likely keep interest rates low.

The Statistics Department said on its website that last month's inflation rate, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), rose slightly due to the indices for food and non-alcoholic beverages as well as non-food increasing by 2.3% and 1.6% respectively.

The CPI was unchanged from March at 104.5 as the non-food index was 0.2% higher but food and non-alcoholic beverages declined by 0.3%.

Between January and April, inflation climbed 2.2% on the back of increases in food and non-alcoholic beverages (3.2%), housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (1.8%), and transport (1.4%).

Prices were also higher in the restaurants and hotels (3.7%), education and miscellaneous goods and services (2.8% respectively), recreation services and culture (2.7%), health and furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (2.2% respectively) categories.

Bank Negara kept interest rates unchanged at 3% for a sixth straight session in May, even as Indonesia and the Philippines reduced borrowing costs earlier this year in a bid to counter softening growth in the global economy.

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