KUALA LUMPUR: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 1.6% in January 2020, the fastest since May 2018, due to higher transport costs following higher fuel prices.
The CPI rose to 122.4 from 120.5 a year ago but the 1.6% increase was slightly slower that the 1.7% forecast by economists in a Bloomberg survey.
The Statistics Department said in a statement issued on Friday the CPI was also higher compared with the 1% increase in December last year.
Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said: “Out of 552 items covered in CPI, 353 items showed an increase in January 2020 as against January 2019. On the contrary, 146 items declined while 53 items were unchanged.”
He said based on the performance of 552 items by category of goods and services, non-durable goods (296 items) recorded the most price increases with 206 items, 72 items decreased and 18 items were unchanged as compared to services, durable goods and semi-durable goods.
The increase in the overall index was driven by the index of transport (3.9%), miscellaneous goods & services (2.5%), housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (1.7%), education (1.7%) and communication (1.5%).
“The higher average price of RON 95 in January 2020 which recorded RM2.08 per litre as compared to RM1.98 in January 2019 had contributed to the increase of the transport and overall index.
“In addition, the average price of RON 97 increased to RM2.58 per litre as compared to RM2.28 while diesel increased to RM2.18 per litre from RM2.12 in corresponding month of the preceding year, ” he said.
On a monthly basis, CPI rose by 0.1% from December 2019 due to the index of education (0.4%), miscellaneous goods & services (0.4%), health (0.2%) and recreation services & culture (0.2%).
Selangor and Putrajaya (2.1%), Kuala Lumpur (1.8%) and Johor (1.8%) surpassed the national CPI rate of 1.6% in January as compared to a year ago.
All states except Kelantan registered an increase in the index of food & non-alcoholic beverages.
The highest increase was recorded by Selangor and Putrajaya (1.4%) followed by Johor (1.3%), Penang (1.1%), Kuala Lumpur (1%) and Perak (1%) and it surpassed the national index of 0.9% cent for food and non-alcoholic beverages in January 2020.