Malaysia – Rafizi: Inflation in 2023 may reach forecast 3.1%
PETALING JAYA: The national inflation rate could reach a projected 3.1% to 3.3% this year if the monthly inflation rate remains subdued, says Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli.
He said at a press conference in Putrajaya that since December 2022, the country’s inflation rate has reached a more stable level.
“About six months from the highest level in September 2022 (4.5%) and based on other figures published by the Statistics Department, the signs showed that we were passing the peak of the increase in the price of goods.
“We hope that if it were to drop at a rate of 0.1% every two months, this downward pattern would continue in the coming months, from 3.8% (December 2022) down to 3.7% (January and February 2023).
“If this continues, it would mean that by the end of this year, we may be able to bring inflation to 3.1% to 3.3%,” he said.
Rafizi, however, said the inflation rate also depends on things beyond control such as disruptions in the supply of raw materials caused by international geopolitical factors or local disruptions such as floods.
“If we look at this pattern with some data that shows there are signs that production costs are decreasing, it means that we are on track in that direction, but of course, there are other factors.
“For example, bad weather causes disruption to the supply of raw materials.
“I remember that another matter (supply disruption) is already in the government’s planning through a medium-term initiative that focuses on increasing the supply capacity of raw materials to users,” he said.
Regarding inflation in February 2023, Rafizi said the main contributors to the month’s inflation were the food and non-alcoholic beverages category (7%) where the flood increased the price of vegetables, as well as the restaurant and hotel category (7.4%) which was due to the increase in domestic and international visitors.
At the press conference, Rafizi also announced the KitaJaga application, which is a price checker that can display the daily price of each item according to a specific locality.
He said the initiative was the result of a collaboration between the Economy Ministry and a local organisation, KitaJaga, which developed the application and its features.
“The Economy Ministry will start with the price of grocery items because most of the price increases are concentrated in this category, and expand to other categories for the people’s use,” he said. — Bernama