Malaysia’s Feb inflation seen quickening to 4.0% y-o-y, highest in over 7 yrs

KUALA LUMPUR (March 21): Malaysia’s annual inflation rate is expected to have accelerated to over a seven-year high at 4.0% in February, as transport costs rose, a Reuters poll showed.

Fuel prices fell in February but higher toll costs and a low base from a year earlier were expected to contribute to the higher inflation rate, economists said.

A 4.0% annual inflation rate would be the highest since December 2008, when it hit 4.4%.

The consumer price index rose 3.5% in January, the largest annual increase since March 2014.

The central bank has an inflation target this year of 2.5%-3.5%. It said in January that it expects inflation to peak in the first quarter before moderating, as low energy and commodity prices persist.

Malaysia will release the February consumer price inflation data on March 25 at 0400 GMT, instead of March 23 as previously scheduled, the Statistics Department said.

It did not give a reason for the delay.