KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Malaysia’s inflation eased to 3.8 per cent in December 2022 as compared to 4.0 per cent in November 2022, thanks to a slower increase in the Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages group, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
Overall, inflation for 2022 increased to 3.3 per cent as compared to 2.5 per cent recorded in 2021, Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said.
During the last month of 2022, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at 129.2 against 124.5 in the same month of the preceding year.
The Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages group grew 6.8 per cent in December 2022, down from 7.3 per cent in the previous month, followed by Transport (4.9 per cent) and Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (3.7 per cent), which also recorded a slower increase against November 2022.
However, Restaurants & Hotels continued to show an increase of 7.4 per cent against 7.0 per cent in November 2022.
Malaysia’s inflation was also contributed by the increase in Recreation Services & Culture (2.4 per cent), Miscellaneous Goods & Services (2.3 per cent) and Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (1.5 per cent).
Education and Health groups also registered an increase of 1.4 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively.
Both Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco and Clothing & Footwear posted marginal increases of 0.7 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.
For 2022, the increase was mainly attributed to Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (5.8 per cent), Restaurants & Hotels (5.0 per cent) and Transport (4.7 per cent).
‘’The conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the global food price increases in 2022 contributed to the increase in inflation for this year.
“Meanwhile, inflation for the fourth quarter of 2022 inclined 3.9 per cent to 128.9 as against 124.1 in the same quarter of the preceding year,’’ he said in a statement.
On a quarterly basis, inflation increased by 0.6 per cent as compared to the third quarter of 2022.
Monthly headline inflation in December 2022 increased moderately to 0.2 per cent as compared to 0.3 per cent in November 2022 mainly driven by the Restaurants & Hotels (0.7 per cent) and Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (0.5 per cent).
“Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages group, which contributes 29.5 per cent of total CPI weight, recorded a moderate increase as compared to November 2022.
‘’The increase in this group was mainly attributed to the component of Food at home which recorded a moderate increase of 4.9 per cent as compared to 5.8 per cent in November 2022, while Food away from home increased by 9.6 per cent as compared to November 2022 of 9.6 per cent,’’ Mohd Uzir said.
He highlighted the implementation of the Festive Season Maximum Price Scheme (Christmas), which ran from December 23 to December 27, 2022, and the setting of the ceiling price for cooking oil in bottles by the government helped in easing the inflation of this group from continuing to soar.
Meanwhile, Transport inflation showed a slower increase of 4.9 per cent in December 2022 as compared to a year ago (November 2022: 5.0 per cent), contributed by the lower increase in the average price of the RON97 unleaded petrol.
Thus, the Operation of the personal transport equipment subgroup moderated to 4.3 per cent as against 5.1 per cent in November 2022.
The average price of RON97 unleaded petrol increased by 20.0 per cent (RM3.60 per litre) as compared to RM3.00 per litre in the same month of the preceding year.
The increase in fuel prices especially RON97 unleaded petrol was influenced by the increase in the price of Brent crude oil by 8.9 per cent to US$80.90 per barrel in December 2022.
As for states, four states recorded increases above the national inflation level of 3.8 per cent, namely the Federal Territory of Putrajaya (7.9 per cent), Selangor (4.5 per cent), Sarawak (4.1 per cent), and Johor (3.9 per cent).
Kedah recorded the lowest increase of 2.2 per cent.
Meanwhile, the inflation for the income group below RM3,000 increased 3.6 per cent from 125.3 in December 2021 to 129.8 in December 2022, due to the increase in Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages group at 6.1 per cent.
In addition, the inflation for Restaurants & Hotels also went up 7.8 per cent followed by Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (4.2 per cent), Transport (2.6 per cent), Miscellaneous Goods & Services (2.2 per cent), and Recreation Services & Culture (1.8 per cent).
Mohd Uzir said core inflation, which measures changes in the prices of all goods and services without taking into account the volatile prices of fresh food as well as administered prices of goods by the government, registered an increase of 4.1 per cent in December 2022 as compared to the same month of the previous year.
The highest increase was recorded by Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages group with 8.1 per cent, followed by the Restaurants & Hotels group (7.4 per cent); Transport (7.3 per cent); Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (3.7 per cent), and Recreation Services & Culture (2.4 per cent).
In comparison to countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the inflation rate in Malaysia of 3.8 per cent was lower than the Philippines (8.1 per cent), Thailand (5.9 per cent), Indonesia (5.5 per cent), and South Korea (5.0 per cent).