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Meat, Fish Prices Push August Inflation Higher Than Expected

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s inflation rate rose 1.5% in August from a year ago, which was higher than economists’ forecast of a 1.3% increase due to higher meat and fish prices, according to the Statistics Department.

It said on Wednesday core inflation, which excludes most volatile items of fresh food, as well as administered prices of goods and services rose 2.2% in August 2016 from a year ago.

“Based on a seasonally adjusted term, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for August 2016 increased by 0.4% as compared to July 2016,” it said.
The department said the higher CPI in August was due to alcoholic beverages & tobacco by 19.7% and food & non-alcoholic beverages (up 3.5%).

“The index for food & non-alcoholic beverages (weight: 30.2) rose 3.5% on a year-on-year basis in August 2016. The increase was led by increases in four food sub-groups namely, index for meat (+6.9%); fish and seafood (+5.2%); fruits (+3.9%) and vegetables (+3.1%). The index for non-food (weight: 69.8) recorded an increase of 0.6%,” it explained.

The department said core inflation, which excludes most volatile items of fresh food, as well as administered prices of goods and services rose 2.2% in August 2016 from a year ago.

Among the major groups which contributed to a higher core rate were price increases for transport (+4.7%); recreation services & culture (+3.6%); food & non-alcoholic beverages (+2.5%); miscellaneous goods & aervices (+2.5%) and housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (+2.4%).

CPI for the period January to August 2016 rose 2.3% from the previous corresponding period. The increase was led by increases in the main groups with high expenditure percentages: Food & non-alcoholic beverages (+4.2%) and housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (+2.6%). Other increases included alcoholic beverages & tobacco (+21.4%).

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