KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — Malaysia’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) for February 2023 remained unchanged at 129.8 or 3.7 per cent, said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
In a statement today, Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the increase in Malaysia’s inflation in February 2023 was still driven by restaurants and hotels (+7.4 per cent) and food and non-alcoholic beverages (+7.0 per cent).
Nevertheless, the slower increase in the transport group (+3.7 per cent) compared with January 2023’s 4.0 per cent had offset a further rise in inflation to a certain extent.
“The increase in Malaysia’s inflation was also due to the increase in furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (+3.4 per cent); miscellaneous goods and services (+2.5 per cent) and health (+1.8 per cent),” he said.
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels and recreation services and culture all recorded an increase of 1.7 per cent, respectively, while education increased by 1.6 per cent, alcoholic beverages and tobacco rose by 0.8 per cent and clothing and footwear expanded by 0.4 per cent.
Meanwhile, Mohd Uzir said the food and non-alcoholic beverages group contributed 29.5 per cent of the total CPI, noting that out of the 230 food items, 203 items or 88.3 per cent recorded price increases.
The food-at-home component, which made up almost 58 per cent of the food and non-alcoholic beverages group, recorded a higher increase of 5.8 per cent compared with 5.1 per cent in January 2023.
At the same time, food away from home recorded a lower increase of 8.9 per cent as against January 2023’s 9.3 per cent.
He noted that in order to reduce the cost of living and ease the inflation of food away from home, the government introduced the Menu Rahmah initiative on January 31, 2023.
“However, continuous heavy rain from end-December 2022 to February 2023 in several states has led to increases in food prices, especially vegetables, where the inflation for the subgroup recorded a significant rise of 5.8 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y),” Mohd Uzir said.
Core inflation, which measures changes in the prices of all goods and services (excluding volatile prices of fresh food as well as government-controlled prices of goods), registered a slower increase of 3.9 per cent y-o-y in February 2023.
The highest increase was recorded by the food and non-alcoholic beverages group at 7.6 per cent.
In addition, the restaurants and hotels group also recorded an increase of 7.4 per cent, followed by transport (6.2 per cent), furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (3.4 per cent) and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (1.9 per cent).