The result matched April's decline, and was slightly more than the median estimate of a 2.8% decline by a Bloomberg survey of economists.
The drop in CPI was mainly attributed to a decline in fuel prices, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia. Excluding fuel, the CPI registered 0.1% growth in May, as compared to 0.2% in April.
CPI without fuel comprises all goods and services except unleaded petrol RON95, unleaded petrol RON97 and diesel.
"The lower average price of RON95 in April 2020 which recorded RM1.30 per litre as compared to RM2.08 in May 2019 contributed to the decrease of the transport and overall index.
"In addition, the average price of RON97 decreased to RM1.60 per litre as compared to RM2.74 while diesel declined to RM1.45 per litre from RM2.18 in the corresponding month of the preceding year," said Chief Statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin.
Sub-indices that showed declining prices in May included transport, housing water, electricity, gas and other fuels, clothing and footwear, and furnishing, household equipment and routine household maintenance.
Meanwhile, growth sub-indices were food and non alcoholic beverages, miscellaneous goods and services, communication, health and eductions.
On a month-on-month basis, the May CPI grew 0.3% from April.
Over the January to May period, the CPI decreased 0.7% as compared with the same period last year, led by a 9.1% decline in the transport sector.
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