Malaysia's inflation edges up to 2% in May

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's inflation rate climbed to 2% in May compared to a 1.8% hike in April.

This was driven by price increases in the main groups of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels of 3.2 per cent and another 3.2 per cent hike in restaurant and accommodation services.

Increases were also recorded in education of 1.5 per cent; transport (0.9 per cent); personal care, social protection and miscellaneous goods and services (3.0 per cent); health (2.2 per cent); recreation, sport and culture (1.9 per cent) as well as food and beverages (1.8 per cent), the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) said today.

Clothing and footwear as well as insurance and financial services declined 0.2 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively.

"The monthly headline inflation in May 2024 recorded an increase of 0.3 per cent against April 2024 (0.2 per cent). This was mainly driven by housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels as well as information and communication, which increased by 0.6 per cent, respectively.

"This was followed by food and beverages; restaurant and accommodation services; recreation, sport and

culture and education which increased 0.3 per cent, respectively, compared to the previous month,” DOSM said.

However, it said the prices of furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance along with health, insurance and financial services did not register any increase and thus, to a certain extent, offset the increase in inflation.

Core inflation, which measures changes in the prices of all goods and services, excluding prices of fresh food and administered prices of goods by the government, increased by 1.9 per cent in May 2024, the same rate as recorded in April 2024. DOSM said the increase was mainly driven by restaurant and accommodation services as well as personal care, social protection and miscellaneous goods and services, which went up 3.3 and 3.0 per cent, respectively.

"Inflation without fuel inclined to 1.9 per cent in May 2024 to 123.1 compared to 120.8 in the same month of the preceding year. Inflation without fuel covers all goods and services except unleaded petrol RON95, unleaded petrol RON97 and diesel,” it said.

DOSM said the inflation rate in Malaysia was lower than in South Korea, Indonesia and Philippines.

"The inflation rate of South Korea recorded a lower increase of 2.7 per cent in May while in Indonesia, it increased by 2.8 per cent from 3.0 per cent in April,” it noted.

Inflation in Philippines rose to 3.9 per cent compared to 3.8 per cent in the previous month while prices in Thailand expanded by 1.5 per cent last month. - Bernama

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