Malaysia's inflation down to 4% in October

Photo by Low Yen Yeing/The Edge

Photo by Low Yen Yeing/The Edge

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 25): Malaysia’s inflation rate eased to 4.0% in October, compared with the 4.5% rate recorded in September, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).

However, the rate still surpassed the nation’s average inflation for the period of January 2011 to October 2022 of 2.0%, the DOSM said in a statement on Friday (Nov 25).

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the consumer price index for October increased by 4.0% year-on-year to 128.6 from 123.7 in October 2021.

He said the inflation rate in Malaysia during the month was lower than the inflation in the Philippines (7.7%), Thailand (6.0%), Indonesia (5.7%), and South Korea (5.7%).

“The eurozone’s inflation jumped to 10.7% in October from 9.9% in the previous month, driven by energy inflation (41.9%), food, alcohol and tobacco (13.1%), non-energy industrial goods (6.0%), and services (4.4%),” he said.

The inflation rate in the US eased to 7.7% in October from 8.2% in September.

At home, the moderate increase in the October inflation rate was driven by a slower increase in the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels group to 1.5% from 4.0% in September.

“The slower increase was due to the absence of base effects attributed to the discontinuation of electricity discounts under the National People’s Well-Being and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih) from July to September 2021,” Mohd Uzir said.

The chief statistician said inflation in the food and non-alcoholic beverage group increased by 7.1% versus the 6.8% rate recorded in September.

“There were food items that showed a slower growth momentum as compared to September. Among the subgroups were vegetables, which slowed down to 4.8% from 6.3%, and oils and fats to 2.6% from 3.8%,” he said.

Mohd Uzir said apart from the food group, all other groups continued to record increases except for communications, which remained unchanged compared to the same month last year.

The restaurants and hotels group increased by 6.8%, followed by transport (5.2%), furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (4.1%), and recreation services and culture (3.4%).

“In addition, miscellaneous goods and services grew 2.4%, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels were up 1.5%, and education was 1.4% higher.

“The health and alcoholic beverage and tobacco groups increased 1.0% and 0.8% respectively, while clothing and footwear inclined marginally by 0.4% against October 2021,” he said.

Mohd Uzur said for the January to October 2022 period, inflation increased by 3.3% year-on-year, mainly attributed to food and non-alcoholic beverages (5.5%), transport (4.6%), and restaurants and hotels (4.6%).

On a monthly basis, the inflation in October recorded a 0.2% increase as compared to 0.1% in September, contributed by food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.5%), while the restaurants and hotels and miscellaneous goods and services groups increased by 0.3%.

“A marginal increase in transport of 0.1% also contributed to the increase,” he added.

At the state level, Mohd Uzir said three states showed an increase above the national inflation level of 4.0%. The states were Putrajaya (7.6%), Selangor (4.9%) and Sarawak (4.3%).

Labuan recorded the lowest increase of 2.3%.

Mohd Uzir said all states registered an increase in the inflation of food and non-alcoholic beverages, with the highest increase recorded by Selangor (8.8%), followed by Sarawak (7.8%), Penang and Putrajaya at 7.6%, Johor (7.3%) and Sabah (7.2%).

“Other states showed an increase below the national inflation rate of food and non-alcoholic beverages of 7.1% in October.

“Inflation for the income group of below RM3,000 increased 3.9% from 124.3 in October 2021 to 129.1, driven by restaurants and hotels at 7.5%, followed by the food and non-alcoholic beverage group at 6.8%, furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (4.4%), recreation services and culture (3.4%), transport (3.0%), and miscellaneous goods and services (2.1%),” he added.