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[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia's annual inflation rate is expected to rise to 5.3 per cent in March, the highest in eight years, a Reuters poll showed.
Inflation was likely driven by higher fuel prices year-on-year on the back of a low-base effect, even as oil prices remained largely stagnant in March, according to the economists surveyed.
The March median forecast of 5.3 per cent by 11 economists polled would be quicker than the 4.5 per cent rise in February, the highest since the November 2008 peak of 5.7 per cent.
Malaysia's central bank said headline inflation will be "relatively high" in the first half of 2017 on higher fuel prices, but expects it to dip in the second half.
Bank Negara Malaysia expects headline inflation to be 3 to 4 per cent in 2017, against 2.1 per cent last year.