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[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia's annual inflation rate in March likely picked up to 0.9 per cent, a Reuters poll showed, reflecting slightly higher petrol prices in the month.
Malaysia removed fuel subsidies in December last year, selling petrol and diesel at market prices. Consumers had gained from the slide in global oil prices earlier in the year, but retail prices have since started to edge up.
Economists do not expect inflation to pick up much even with the newly introduced consumption tax.
"Cheaper fuel and the global disinflationary environment should keep price pressures low and cushion the impact of the 6 per cent goods and services tax, which kicked in since April 1," said Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a research note.
Inflation eased to 0.1 per cent in February, a 5-year low, due to lower oil prices.