Malaysia May CPI +3.9% on Year; +4.2% Expected

By Yantoultra NguiFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysia's inflation eased further in May on moderating fuel prices, official data showed Wednesday, marking the second month of moderation from an eight-year high of 5.1% in March.

The consumer-price index rose 3.9% from a year ago, according to the Department of Statistics, compared with a 4.4% year-on-year increase in April. The figure was lower than the 4.2% increase forecast by eight economists in a survey by The Wall Street Journal.

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Compared with the month before, the CPI declined 0.2% after seasonal adjustment, the data showed.

May's inflation rate was driven mainly by higher year-on-year costs for transportation, food and nonalcoholic beverages, according to a statement from the Department of Statistics.

The inflation was in line with most economists' view that inflation in the Southeast Asian nation had peaked in March and would likely moderate through the rest of the year.

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 expects core inflation to rise modestly.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 21, 2017 00:14 ET (04:14 GMT)