According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM), Malaysia’s inflation rate stayed constant at 2 percent in August 2023, the same as it was in July 2023.
In a statement, DoSM stated that the August inflation rate was primarily due to slower growth in restaurants and hotels (4.7 percent versus 5 percent in July 2023), food and non-alcoholic beverages (4.1 percent versus 4.4 percent in July 2023), and miscellaneous goods and services (2.4 percent versus 2.6 percent in July 2023).
Food and non-alcoholic beverages are believed to make up 29.5 percent of the CPI’s overall weight.
Meanwhile, it stated that the transport sector’s inflation rate for August 2023 showed no change (0.0 percent) compared to -0.4 percent in July 2023.
Core inflation was reported by DoSM to have decreased to 2.5 percent in August 2023 from 2.8 percent in July 2023, but it was still higher than the country’s total inflation rate of 2 percent.
“The food and non-alcoholic beverage group saw the largest growth with a 5.1 percent increase, followed by the restaurants and hotels group with a 4.7 percent increase, and transport (up 3.6 percent).
“Meanwhile, miscellaneous goods and services, as well as health, increased 2.4 percent, respectively,” it said.
According to DoSM, Malaysia’s inflation rate of 2 percent is lower than that of the Eurozone (5.3 percent), the Philippines (5.3 percent), South Korea (3.4 percent), Indonesia (3.3 percent), and Vietnam (3 percent), which are all higher than that of Malaysia.
The rate was, however, higher than Thailand (0.9 percent) and China (0.1 percent), it added.
At the state level, chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin stated that seven states recorded increases above the national inflation rate of 2 percent, namely Sarawak (3.4 percent), Putrajaya (2.7 percent), Perlis (2.4 percent), Perak (2.3 percent), Selangor (2.3 percent), Pahang (2.2 percent), and Melaka (2.1 percent), while the other nine states recorded growth below 2 percent.
According to DoSM, on a month-over-month basis, headline inflation in August 2023 climbed slightly to 0.2 percent from 0.1 percent in July 2023.
The increase was mostly driven by housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, which increased 0.5 percent from no changes in July 2023, as well as health, which increased 0.5 percent from 0.25 percent in July 2023.