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[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia's annual inflation rate likely increased slightly to 2.7 per cent in December, a Reuters poll showed, as rising costs for consumer goods offset declining fuel prices.
Fuel prices fell in December but a 40 per cent government-imposed tax hike on tobacco products in November and higher food demand continued to push up costs, economists said.
Annual inflation was 2.6 per cent in November, picking up slightly from the previous month on rising prices of consumer goods.
Malaysia's consumer price index rose after the government introduced a 6 per cent goods and services tax (GST) in April, but annual increases have been below 3 per cent starting in September.