Malaysia: Inflation rises in October
November 26, 2010
In October, consumer prices rose 0.3% over the previous month, which came in above both the flat reading tallied in September and market expectations, which had prices rising 0.2%. The main driver behind the increase was higher prices for alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+6.3% month-on-month) that resulted from an increase in tobacco taxes. Owing to the monthly price increase, annual inflation accelerated from 1.8% in September to 2.0% in October. Moreover, annual average inflation followed suit and rose from 1.1% in September to 1.4% in October. Meanwhile, at its latest meeting on 12 November, the Central Bank left the overnight policy rate unchanged at 2.75%, amid signs of a deceleration in economic activity and low inflationary pressures. The decision followed on three consecutive 25 base-point interest rate hikes this year, the latest on 8 July. The Central Bank anticipates inflation will average between 2.0% and 2.5% this year.