Malaysia Inflation Eases Further in July

By Yantoultra Ngui Features Dow Jones Newswires

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysia's inflation eased further in July due to moderating fuel prices, official data showed Wednesday, marking the fourth consecutive month where it slowed from an eight-year high of 5.1% in March.

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The consumer-price index rose 3.2% from a year earlier, according to the Department of Statistics, compared with a 3.6% year-over-year increase in June. The figure was lower than the 3.4% increase expected by a Wall Street Journal poll of eight economists.

Compared with the month before, the CPI decreased 0.1% after seasonal adjustment, the data showed.

Core inflation, on the other hand, rose 2.6% in July from a year earlier, according to the statistics department.

July's inflation was driven mainly by higher year-over-year costs for transportation, food and non-alcoholic beverages, the Department of Statistics said.

The momentum for consumer prices was in line with the central bank's expectation that headline inflation, which softened to 4% in the second quarter on lower fuel prices from 4.3% in the preceding quarter, will moderate further in the second half of this year, assuming lower global oil prices.

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Bank Negara Malaysia announced on Friday a better-than-expected economic growth of 5.8% for the second quarter--a pace last seen in the first quarter of 2015--powered by growth in both private and public sectors, and a broad-based expansion in exports of manufactured goods and commodities.

The central bank had projected inflation to trend higher at 3.0% to 4.0% this year, compared with 2.1% in 2016.

Write to Yantoultra Ngui at yantoultra.ngui@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 23, 2017 00:14 ET (04:14 GMT)