Malaysia CPI down 0.7% y-o-y in Jan 2019, first drop since 2009

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 22): Malaysia's inflation, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), decreased 0.7% in January 2019 from a year earlier mainly due to the drop in the CPI's transport component, the Statistics Department said today.

January 2019's year-on-year CPI drop is the first since November 2009 when the CPI fell 0.1%.

In a statement, the department said the transport component fell 7.8% due to cheaper fuel.

"The lower average price of RON 95 in January 2019 which recorded RM1.98 per litre as compared to RM2.28 in January 2018 contributed to the decrease of the transport and overall index. In addition, the average price of RON 97 decreased to RM2.28 per litre as compared to RM2.55 while diesel recorded RM2.12 per litre from RM2.31 in corresponding month of the preceding year.

"Nevertheless, food & non-alcoholic beverages continued to increase in January 2019 by 1.0% to 132.9 as compared to 131.6 in corresponding month of the preceding year. Food & non-alcoholic beverages contributes 29.5% of CPI weights. Housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels also showed an increase by 2.0%, followed by restaurants & hotels (+1.2%), alcoholic beverages & tobacco (+1.1%) and education (+0.9%)," it said.

On a monthly basis, the department said January 2019 CPI registered a decrease of 0.5% compared to December 2018.