SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Consumer Price Index (CPI) picked up slightly to 0.2 per cent in March 2019 to 121.1 as compared to 120.9 in March 2018. The increase in the overall index was driven by the index of Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (+2.0 per cent), Education (+1.3 per cent), Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (+1.1 per cent), Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (+1.1 per cent) and Restaurants & Hotels (+1.0 per cent). (Chart 1).
On a monthly basis, CPI increased 0.2 per cent as compared to February 2019. It was mainly supported by the index of Transport (+2.6 per cent), Miscellaneous Goods & Services (+0.4 per cent) and Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance (+0.3 per cent).
Chart 1: Consumer Price Index (2010=100): Percentage Change by Main Groups, Malaysia, March 2019/March 2018
The CPI in the first quarter of 2019 recorded a decline of 0.3 per cent to 120.8 compared to 121.2 in the same quarter of the preceding year. The decline was contributed by Transport (-5.9 per cent), Clothing & Footwear (-3.1 per cent), Miscellaneous Goods & Services (-2.2 per cent) and Communication (-1.2 per cent). On a quarterly basis, the CPI decreased 0.1 per cent as compared to the fourth quarter of 2018.
Index for Sub-Groups Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages
The overall index for Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages increased 1.1 per cent in March 2019. The increase was attributed by the food sub-group index of Milk & Eggs (+2.0 per cent) and Fish & Seafood (+0.1 per cent).
Among the index of goods which recorded price increases in most states were Eggs (+14.9 per cent), Cockles (+7.6 per cent), Spanish Mackerel (Fish) (+3.4 per cent), Crab (+3.1 per cent), Cuttlefish (+1.1 per cent), Red Snapper (Fish) (+0.8 per cent) and Prawn (+0.7 per cent).
Meanwhile, the index for Food Away From Home increased 3.4 per cent in March 2019 as against March 2018. The rise in the price of Burger, Fried Chicken, Rice with Side Dishes and Food Made from Noodles contributed to the increase of the index of this sub-group. (Table 1)
Table 1: Consumer Price Index (2010=100): Annual Percentage Change by Sub-Groups Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Malaysia, March 2019/March 2018
Consumer Price Index by States
Four states namely Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur (+0.9 per cent), Pulau Pinang (+0.6 per cent), Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya (+0.3 per cent) and Negeri Sembilan (+0.3 per cent) surpassed the national CPI rate of 0.2 per cent in March 2019 as compared to March 2018. Meanwhile, Johor showed the same rate of increase as the national CPI.
The increase in the index of Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages was reflected in most states in Malaysia. Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur (+4.2 per cent) recorded higher increases for Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages index above the national index level in March 2019 as compared to the corresponding month in 2018. Conversely, Negeri Sembilan recorded the same rate as the national index level for Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages. (Chart 2)
Chart 2: Consumer Price Index (2010=100): Annual Percentage Change for Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages by State, March 2019/March 2018
Core index increased 0.5 per cent in March 2019 as compared to the same month of the previous year. Among the major groups which influenced the higher core rate were price increases of Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels (+2.3 per cent), Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (+1.7 per cent), Education (+1.3 per cent) and Restaurants & Hotels (+1.0 per cent).
Core index excludes most volatile items of fresh food as well as administered prices of goods and services. (Table 2)
Table 2: Consumer Price Index (2010=100): Percentage Change of Headline CPI, Seasonally Adjusted Index and Core Index by Main Groups, Malaysia, March 2019/March 2018
DATO' SRI DR. MOHD UZIR MAHIDIN
CHIEF STATISTICIAN MALAYSIA
DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS, MALAYSIA
24 April 2019
Public Relation Officer
Strategic Communication and International Division
Department of Statistics, Malaysia
Tel : +603-8885 7187 / 7942
Fax : +603-8888 9248
Email : jpbkkp[at]dosm.gov.my