Malaysia inflation accelerates to 4.7% in Aug on higher food, energy prices

Nurluqman Suratman


SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Malaysia’s inflation rate in August increased to 4.7% on a year-on-year basis, accelerating from 4.4% in July, amid a rise in energy and food prices, official data showed on Friday.

Prices in the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels group rose by 4.1% year on year in August, accelerating from the 3.8% increase in July, data from the Department of Statistics showed.

Food prices rose by 7.2% year on year in August, up from the 6.9% rise in July.

In contrast, transport prices rose by 5.2% year on year in August, slowing down from the 5.6% expansion in July.

For the January-August period, Malaysia’s inflation rate rose by 3.1% year on year, driven by “strong demand, commodity prices that remain high and disruptions in global supply chains”, the statistics department said.

Transport prices recorded an increase of 4.5% year on year in January-August 2022, mainly due to the increase in the average price of Brent crude oil by 58.4% in the first eight months of this year.

Malaysia’s central bank on 8 September raised its key overnight policy rate by 25 basis points to 2.5%, marking the third back-to-back rate hike since it started the hiking cycle in May this year as the economy recovered at a stronger pace.

“Headline inflation is projected to peak in Q3 2022 before moderating thereafter, due to dissipating base effects and in line with the expected easing of global commodity prices,” Bank Negara said in a statement on 8 September.

“The extent of upward pressures to inflation will remain partly contained by existing price controls, fuel subsidies, and the prevailing spare capacity in the economy,” the central bank added.

Focus article by Nurluqman Suratman


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