KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s inflation rate fell by 0.2% in March, in line with RAM Ratings’ forecast, due to a decline in the transport index as fuel costs fell.
The Statistics Department said the inflation rate, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell to 120.9 as against 121.1 a year ago.
“On a monthly basis, CPI decreased 1.2% as compared to February 2020, ” it said in a statement.
Commenting on the March CPI when compared with a year ago, chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said out of 552 items covered in the CPI, the price of 337 items increased in March 2020 from a year ago.
On the contrary, prices of 163 items declined while 52 items were unchanged.
“Based on the performance of 552 items by category of goods and services, non-durable goods (296 items) is a category that experienced the most price increase with 195 items, 84 items decreased and 17 items were unchanged compared to services, semi-durable goods and durable goods, ” he said.
Mohd Uzir said the decrease in the index of transport (-8.9%) which contributed 14.6% of overall weight was countered by the increase in the index of housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (1.6%) and food & non-alcoholic beverages (1.2%).
He also said the lower average price of RON95 in March 2020 which recorded RM1.74 per litre compared to RM2.08 a year ago also contributed to the decrease of the transport and overall index.
The average price of RON97 decreased to RM2.04 per litre from RM2.51 a year ago while diesel declined to RM1.89 per litre from RM2.10.
Food & non-alcoholic beverages continued to increase in March by 1.2% to 134.1. Food & non-alcoholic beverages contributes to 29.5% of CPI weight.
He said miscellaneous goods & services also rose by 2.6%, followed by housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (1.6%), communication (1.5%), health (1.4%) and education (1.3%).
Compared with the February CPI, the inflation rate for March fell by 1.2% due to transport (-8.7%) and restaurants & hotels (-0.2%).
In March, the index for all states decreased between -0.1% and -0.9% from a year ago.
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