PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s inflation rate rose 2% in May due to rising costs for food, which was in line with economists’ forecast.
According to MIDF Research, food and non-alcoholic beverages moderated slightly to 4.1%, stretching the decline for the third consecutive month.
“This was partly due to the decline of fresh fish prices which had drop for two successive months while personal care products prices and garments slid 0.3% month-on-month and 0.1% respectively.
“We note that price for fresh vegetable continued to be on the rise, registering a strong increase of 4.8% month-on-month following 1.7% last months. Following that, year-on-year change surged to 16.9%,” it said.
“This can be reasonably attributed to tight supply and weaker ringgit. As the bulk of the vegetables were imported, the weaker ringgit lead to higher prices while the prolonged heatwave kept the yield of vegetables supply repressed,” it added.
According to the Statistics Department, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for May increased by 0.3% from April on a month-on-month basis.
For January to May, the inflation rose by 2.9% from the previous corresponding period.
The 2% increase in the CPI from a year ago was contributed by the 22.1% growth in alcoholic beverages and tobacco while food and non-alcoholic beverages saw a 4.1% rise.
The department explained that the higher index for food and non-alcoholic beverages was due to increases in three food sub-groups – index for vegetables (+15.3%); fish and seafood (+6.6%) and fruits (+6.1%).
The index for non-food (weight: 69.8) recorded an increase of 1.1%.
On the higher May CPI versus April, the department said the 0.3% rise to 114.6 from 114.3 was due to increases in seven of the 12 major groups.
“Among the main groups that recorded increases were housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (+0.5%); food & non-alcoholic beverages (+0.3%) and miscellaneous goods and services (+0.2%).”