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May Inflation Rate Up 2% On Higher Costs For Food

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s inflation rate rose 2% in May, which was in line with economists’ forecast, due to rising costs for food including vegetables, fish and seafood.

The Statistics Department said on Wednesday that on a monthly basis, the Consumer Price Index for May increased by 0.3% from April.

For January to May, the inflation increased by 2.9% from the previous corresponding period.

The 2% increase in the CPI from a year ago was contributed by the 22.1% rise in alcoholic beverages and tobacco while food and non-alcoholic beverages saw a 4.1% increase.

In terms of weightage in the CPI, food and non-alcoholic beverages accounted for 30.2; alcoholic beverages and tobacco (2.9%).

The department explained the higher index for food and non-alcoholic beverages was due to increases in three food sub-groups namely, index for vegetables (+15.3%); fish and seafood (+6.6%) and fruits (+6.1%).

The index for non-food (weight: 69.8) recorded an increase of 1.1%.

On the higher May CPI versus April, the department said the 0.3% rise to 114.6 from 114.3 was due to increases in seven of the 12 major groups.

“Among the main groups that recorded increases were housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (+0.5%); food & non-alcoholic beverages (+0.3%) and miscellaneous goods & services (+0.2%).

The department said core inflation, which excludes most volatile items of fresh food, as well as administered prices of goods and services rose 2.1% in May from a year ago.

Among the key factors contributing to a higher core rate were price increases for transport (+3.4%); food & non-alcoholic beverages (+2.7%); housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (+2.6%); restaurants & hotels (+2.5%) and miscellaneous goods & services (+2.5%).

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