Chickens are seen inside a poultry farm in Sepang, Selangor, May 27, 2022.  Picture taken May 27, 2022. REUTERS/Hasnoor Hussain

Malaysia posts 4% inflation in October

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s consumer price index (CPI) in October was up 4% an on annual basis to 128.6, as inflation moderated from September due to the absence of base effects.

The increase was slightly above the median expectation of a poll of Reuters economists, who had predicted a rate of growth of 3.9%.

Core inflation, meanwhile, which measures changes in the prices of all goods and services excluding volatile items of fresh food and administered prices of goods by the government, increased 4.1% in October as compared to the same month last year.

For the period of January to October, inflation increased 3.3% as compared to the same period in 2021.

According to National Statistics Department chief economist Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin, inflation moderated from 4.5% recorded in the previous month as there was a slower increase in the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels group to 1.5% from 4% in the September.

“This slower increase was due to the absence of base effects attributed by the discontinuation of electricity discounts under the National People’s Well-Being and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih) from July to September 2021,” he said in a statement.

Food and non-alcholic beverages, however, showed a higher rate of growth of 7.1%, against an increase of 6.8% in September, despite the slower growth momentum in certain food items such as vegetable and oils and fats.

“Chicken which is the largest weight in the subgroup of Meat (46.1%) showed an increase to 4.8% as compared to 3.7% in September 2022.

“The average price of standard chicken in Peninsular Malaysia in October 2022 increased to RM9.46 per kg as compared to RM9.17 per kg in September 2022, exceeding the control price level set by the government (RM9.40 per kg).

“Besides, duck recorded an increase of 10.8% as compared to 10.4% in the previous month,” said Mohd Uzir.

All other group also recorded increases year-on-year, except for communication, which stayed flat.

Restaurants and hotels increased 6.8% followed by transport (5.2%); furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (4.1%) and recreation services and culture (3.4%).

Meanwhile, miscellaneous goods and services also registered an increase of 2.4% and education grew 1.4%.

Both health and alcoholic beverages and tobacco groups recorded an increase by 1% and 0.8% respectively, while clothing and footwear increased a marginal 0.4% as against October 2021.