Inflation Rate Up 1.8% Due To Higher Food Prices
Higher food prices pushed December’s inflation rate up 1.8% from a year ago, revealed the Statistics Department, adding that the increase was slightly lower than a Bloomberg survey of a 1.9% rise.
It said on Wednesday that the overall index for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 1.8% to 116.9 in December 2016 from 114.8 a year ago.
The higher CPI, according to the department, was due to the increase in the indices for food and non-alcoholic beverages (+3.7%) and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (+2.1%).
In November, Bank Negara Malaysia said inflation would probably average at the lower end of the 2% to 2.5% forecast range for 2016 and expected to remain relatively stable in 2017.
Malaysians have been straddled with high household debt and the rising cost of living ever since oil prices dropped, sending the ringgit crashing to an all-time low.
Many will also crimp expenditure as the Chinese New Year draws near with prices of seafood and greens becoming more expensive due to the weakened ringgit and an unusually long monsoon season.