Malaysia: Inflation hits near three-year high in March
Consumer prices rose a seasonally-adjusted 0.33% in March over the previous month, matching February’s reading. Looking at the details of the release, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages flatlined again in March, and prices for housing and utilities rose at the same pace as in February.
Inflation came in at 1.7% in March, up from February’s 0.1%. March’s reading represented the highest inflation rate since May 2018. The annual average variation of consumer prices edged up to minus 1.2% in March (February: -1.4%).
Commenting on the inflation outlook, Julia Goh and Loke Siew Ting, economists at UOB, noted:
“There are no signs of supply-pushed inflation abating as yet, while the global economic recovery remains on track despite rising risks from new coronavirus variants and lingering supply shortage. Year-ago low base effects will also continue to play a role in lifting inflation amid the government’s pro-active measures to mitigate the impact of the supply-led inflationary pressures. […] We reiterate our 2021 full-year inflation projection of 3.0%.”