Economists slash Malaysia inflation outlook - Bloomberg survey

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HONG KONG (May 27): Economists now see headline inflation in Malaysia rising 0.6%, 1.6% and 1.9% in the upcoming three quarters of this year, versus 1.4%, 2.2% and 2.4% in a February poll, according to the latest results of a Bloomberg News survey of 35 economists conducted from May 16 to May 24.

* CPI 2019 +1.3% y/y vs prior +1.6%

* CPI 2020 +2.1% y/y vs prior +2.4%

* CPI 2021 +2.1% y/y vs prior +2.5%

* Alex Holmes, economist at Capital Economics: “We expect growth to weaken over the course of the year as consumer spending comes off the boil and the re-escalation in the trade war weighs on exports. Inflation is set to rebound slightly next month as the scrapping of GST drops out of the annual comparison, but underlying inflationary pressures are likely to remain benign. As such, more loosening from the central bank is likely.”

* GDP 2019 +4.5% y/y unchanged from previous survey

* GDP 2020 +4.4% y/y vs prior +4.5%

* GDP 2021 +4.6% y/y vs prior +4.7%

* Central bank rate seen at 3% at end-3Q19

** Current rate at 3%

** No hike expected in 2019 and 2020

** Rates will reach 3.25% in 2Q 2021