Malaysia CPI Accelerated in October on Rising Fuel, Utilities Prices

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By Chester Tay
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KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s consumer prices rose faster than expected in October amid rising fuel prices and the end of electricity consumption discounts provided under the government’s COVID-19 stimulus package.

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The country’s statistics department said on Friday that the consumer price index in October was up 2.9% from a year earlier, following a 2.2% increase in September.

CPI growth in October was higher than the average forecast for 2.5% growth from a Wall Street Journal poll of six economists.

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Globally, the rise in oil prices was the main contributor to inflation. The CPI excluding fuel prices rose 1.5%, the department said.

Furnishing and home appliances prices, which rose 2.1%, also contributed to inflation, followed by food prices, which rose 1.9%.

The department said inflation in the coming months would be influenced by external factors, such as rise in global crude oil and food prices.

The opening of interstate travel in Malaysia is expected to impact tourism related prices.

Compared to the previous month, the October CPI grew by 0.7%, driven by utilities and household-related appliances, maintenance and furnishings, the department said.

The CPI for the first 10 months of this year increased by 2.3% compared to a year ago.

Write to Chester Tay at [email protected]

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