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Malaysia's April inflation rate at 1.4%, below forecast

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Malaysia's consumer price index in April rose 1.4 per cent from a year earlier, slightly below expectations, as steady fuel prices offset higher food costs, government data showed on Wednesday.

[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia's consumer price index in April rose 1.4 per cent from a year earlier, slightly below expectations, as steady fuel prices offset higher food costs, government data showed on Wednesday.

April's annual inflation rate was slightly higher than the 1.3 per cent recorded in March, the slowest pace in nearly two years, but was below the 1.6 per cent forecast in a Reuters poll.

In April, the index for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 2.6 per cent year-on-year, while increases were also recorded in the indexes for restaurants, hotels and housing, data from the Statistics Department showed.

The transport index, however, rose marginally by 0.4 per cent as fuel prices remained benign during the month, the data showed.

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Headline inflation has moderated after staying above 3 per cent every month last year, peaking at 5.1 per cent in March 2017.

Malaysia's central bank left its key interest rate unchanged in its last review, citing a lower inflation rate and steady economic growth, after former premier Najib Razak's long-ruling coalition was ousted in a shock election upset on May 9.

REUTERS