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Malaysia’s Inflation Stayed at 1.8% In March 2024

KUALA LUMPUR: Since November 2023, the country’s inflation rate stood at 1.5% up until January 2024. By February, the number went up to 1.8%, which continued until last month, with the index points recorded at 132.2 as against 129.9 in the same month of the previous year.

 

The increase of inflation in March 2024 was driven by housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (3%); restaurant and accommodation services (3%); personal care, social protection and other goods and services (2.6%) and transport (1.3%).

However, the increase has been offset by the other main group which recorded a slower increase namely health (2.1%); food and beverages (F&B) (1.7%) and recreation, sport and culture (1.5%).

The increase of 3% (February 2024: 2.7%) in for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels was contributed by the expenditure class of water supply which increased to 31.4% in March 2024 (February 2024: 28.8%).

Kedah has increased the water tariff rates for domestic category users starting in March 2024 as compared to other states that have implemented the new tariff rates in February 2024.

The F&B group recorded a slower increase of 1.7% in March 2024 (February 2024: 1.9%). The main subgroup of food at home increased to 0.3% in March 2024 (February 2024: 0.5%). Meanwhile, the main subgroup of food away from home increased 3.5%, the same rate as registered in February 2024.

Overall, monthly inflation recorded a marginal increase of 0.1% as compared to 0.5% recorded in February 2024. A few main groups that posted increases on a monthly basis were restaurant and accommodation services (0.4%); personal care, social protection and other goods and services (0.4%) as well as housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (0.3%).

Meanwhile, inflation for the first quarter of 2024 recorded an incline of 1.7% (Q4 2023: 1.6%).

For quarterly comparison, Malaysia’s inflation increased 0.7% (Q4 2023: 0.2%). Meanwhile, core inflation increased slower at 1.7% as compared to 1.8% in February 2024. The increase was due to the F&B and restaurant and accommodation services which both recorded increases of 3%respectively in March 2024.

At the state level, most of the states recorded increases below the national inflation level of 1.8%. However, 5 states recorded increases above the national inflation level namely Pulau Pinang (3%), Sarawak (2.9%), Pahang (2.1%), Selangor (2.1%) and Perlis (1.9%).

In comparison to inflation in other selected countries, inflation in Malaysia (1.8%) was lower than inflation in Vietnam (4%), Philippines (3.7%), United States of America (3.5%), Republic of Korea (3.1%) and Indonesia (3.1%). However, the rate is higher than China (0.1%) and Thailand (-0.5%).

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