Measures taken to tame inflation did not affect economic growth — Wan Azizah

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PUTRAJAYA (Feb 15): The measures taken to tame inflation, which averaged one per cent last year, did not affect the country's economy as it grew 4.7 per cent during the same period, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

She said the rate marked the success of the policies, strategies and action plans already put in place and being taken by the new government in controlling the prices of goods in general.

Wan Azizah, who is also National Cost of Living Action Council chairman, said in fact, the country's economic growth fared better in the fourth quarter at 4.7 per cent compared with the third quarter (4.4 per cent) and second quarter (4.5 per cent).

"This growth is commendable in the midst of global market uncertainty following the US-China trade war, and the Government was forced to practise prudent spending in line with the country's current financial position.

“As Malaysia continues to record good economic growth, 2018 posted its lowest inflation rate in nine years," she said in a statement today.

Dr Wan Azizah said the inflation rate in 2018 was also much lower than the 3.7 per cent recorded in the previous year.

"Based on the year-on-year analysis, it was below one percent for the seven consecutive months from June to December 2018, and the rate was only between 0.2 percent and 0.6 percent in the last five months.

“This is compared to between 1.3 percent and 2.7 percent from January to May 2018," she said.

In terms of Consumer Price Index (CPI), she said the rate remained unchanged in December 2018 from that of May 2018 at the level of 121.1.

Wan Azizah said as the new Government has addressed the inflation issue, it has resolved one of the components of the cost of living.