January’s Inflation Up By 3.5%
This year’s January saw a hike in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) by 3.5% to 115.5 against 110.6 in January last year, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia.
The CPI measures inflation on the consumer level, and according to a report published by Bernama, the higher CPI was due to increments in all 12 major groups, of which the indices for alcoholic beverages and tobacco group (+22.6%); miscellaneous goods and services (+5.5%); health (4.6%); restaurants & hotels (+4.5%); furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (+4.1%); and food and non-alcoholic beverages (+3.9%).
“The index for food and non-alcoholic beverages (weight: 30.2) rose 3.9%, year-on-year, in January 2016 while the index for non-food (weight: 69.8) recorded an increase of 3.4%,” it said in a statement.
The department said on a monthly basis, the CPI slid 0.3% to 114.5 from 114.8 between January 2016 and December 2015.
Of the 12 major groups, nine rose in CPI while three main groups registered declined in last month. The three main groups that saw a decreased are transport (-2.9%); communication (-2.4%) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (-0.1%).
Meanwhile, the core inflation rose 3.6% in January 2016, said the department, compared to the corresponding month in 2015.
The “basket”” of goods and services saw an update
The “basket” of goods and services of CPI has been updated based on the Household Expenditure Survey, which was conducted from January to December 2014, said the Statistics Department.
Prior to this update, the “basket” of goods and services was based on the Household Expenditure Survey conducted from April 2009 to March 2010.
The update was to ensure that the statistics reflect the current patterns in consumer expenditure.
During “basket” update, the CPI basket weights for individual items, classes and higher level aggregates are updated.
Subsequently, the weights are then expressed at the prices of December 2015 in order to chain indices across the old and new baskets.
The period of December 2015 is called the link month.