Malaysia: Inflation hits a speed bump in January
Consumer prices rose 0.3% compared to the previous month in January, slightly above the 0.1% month-on-month increase recorded in December. The uptick reflected higher prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages, and transport, which more than offset muted growth in housing, water and electricity charges and a small dip in communication prices.
Inflation eased markedly to an over one-year low of 2.7% in January from 3.5% in December as a base effect in transport costs—caused by a substantial fuel price hike last year—kicked in. The figure was marginally below market expectations of 2.8% inflation. Food inflation also moderated mildly, weighing on the headline figure. Despite the deceleration, annual average inflation was unchanged at December’s 3.8% in January, the highest figure in more than eight years. Meanwhile, core inflation was steady at 2.2% in January.