Malaysia’s consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in 11 months, as it unexpectedly raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point earlier this month amid lingering price pressures.
(Bloomberg) — Malaysia’s consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in 11 months, as it unexpectedly raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point earlier this month amid lingering price pressures.
April numbers rose 3.3% from a year earlier, matching the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Core inflation, which excludes volatile prices of fresh food and government-administered items, registered a 3.6% increase, down from 3.8% in the previous month, according to an emailed statement from the Department of Statistics.
The price level increase was mainly contributed by restaurants and hotels which gained 6.6%, followed by food costs that recorded a 6.3% growth.
Price hikes in Malaysia have been on a downward trajectory since reaching a peak of 4.7% in August. The Southeast Asian nation joins regional neighbors — Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand, all of whom have observed cooling in prices recently.
“Inflation may need to cool further to reassure Bank Negara Malaysia that price expectations are anchored – if the ringgit continue to slide,” said Tamara Mast Henderson, Asean economist at Bloomberg Economics.
(Updates with more details.)
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