Malaysia September CPI +4.3% on Year; +4.2% Expected

By Yantoultra Ngui Features Dow Jones Newswires

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysia's inflation accelerated in September, marking the second straight month of rises due to higher transportation and food costs.

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The consumer-price index rose 4.3% from a year earlier, the Department of Statistics said Friday, compared with a 3.7% year-over-year increase in August. The figure was slightly higher than the 4.2% rise expected in a poll of 10 economists by The Wall Street Journal.

Compared with the month before, CPI rose 0.3% after a seasonal adjustment, the data showed.

Core inflation climbed 2.4% in September compared with a year earlier.

September's inflation was mainly driven by higher transportation, food and non-alcoholic beverage costs, it said.

The momentum for consumer prices was in contrast with Malaysian 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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Economists had said issues surrounding the cost of living were expected take center stage during the presentation of Malaysia's 2018 national budget on Oct. 27.

Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak will present the budget, which is expected to include an increase in cash handouts and infrastructure spending ahead of elections expected by the middle of next year.

The central bank has 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

October 20, 2017 00:15 ET (04:15 GMT)