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Malaysia's October inflation rate at 0.6% y-o-y, matches forecast

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Malaysia's consumer price index rose 0.6 per cent in October from a year earlier, accelerating from the previous month's 0.3 per cent rise, as inflation picked up in five key sectors, government data showed on Friday.

[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia's consumer price index rose 0.6 per cent in October from a year earlier, accelerating from the previous month's 0.3 per cent rise, as inflation picked up in five key sectors, government data showed on Friday.

October's annual inflation rate matched the 0.6 per cent rise forecast in a Reuters poll.

Inflation hit a three-and-a-half year low of 0.2 per cent in August on the back of a tax holiday after the government scrapped a goods and services tax (GST). It was the lowest since February 2015, when the rate was at 0.1 per cent.

Inflation in October was driven by higher prices in five of the 12 main groups tracked in the index; housing, food and non-alcoholic beverages, restaurants, education and transport.

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Core inflation rose 0.4 per cent in October annually.

Inflation was largely benign in the third quarter of 2018 but is seen edging upwards for the rest of the year and into next year, according to Malaysia's central bank.

Bank Negara Malaysia expects the economy to expand 4.8 per cent this year and by 4.9 per cent in 2019.

REUTERS