Malaysia Inflation Likely Eased to 4.2% in May, Poll Shows

By Yantoultra NguiFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysia's inflation likely eased further in May, a survey of economists showed Monday, marking the second month of moderation from an eight-year high of 5.1% in March.

The consumer-price index, the country's main inflation gauge, is expected to have risen 4.2% in May from a year earlier, according to the median forecast of eight economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal, because of moderating fuel prices domestically. The CPI grew 4.4% in April.

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Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid, chief economist at Kuala Lumpur-based Bank Islam Malaysia, said a stronger ringgit during the month could have alleviated price pressures.

The inflation rate is "still a concern despite the expected moderation," he said in an interview Monday, as the CPI remains higher than the long-term average of 2.8%-3.0%.

Bank Negara Malaysia said in March that inflation was projected to trend higher at 3.0%-4.0% this year, compared with 2.1% in 2016, mainly because of the pass-through effect of higher global oil prices on domestic retail-fuel prices.

However, the central bank said that cost-driven inflation is unlikely to have a significant effect on broader price trends. It said it expects core inflation to rise modestly.

The official May inflation data is due Wednesday at 0400 GMT.

Write to Yantoultra Ngui at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 19, 2017 01:40 ET (05:40 GMT)