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Malaysia's April CPI falls 2.9%, more than forecast

[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia's economy remained in deflation for the second month in a row in April, with the consumer price index (CPI) falling 2.9 per cent from a year earlier, government data showed on Wednesday.

Consumer prices in March had fallen for the first time since February last year, easing 0.2% due to cheaper pump prices.

A Reuters poll had forecast an annual fall of 1.6 per cent in April.

April's decline was driven largely by lower retail fuel prices during the month, with the transport sector index plummeting 21.5 per cent from a year earlier, the Statistics Department said in a statement.

The housing and utilities component, which contributes 23.8 per cent to the overall index, also fell 2.2 per cent.

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The decline, however, was offset by higher prices in most of the main groups tracked by the index, including food and beverages, household furnishings and equipment, and communication, the department said.

Average headline inflation was expected to turn negative this year on substantially lower global oil prices, Malaysia's central bank said earlier this month.


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