Malaysia's Annual Inflation is Expected to Accelerate to 1.6% in March
It is awaited, that Malaysia's annual inflation rate will accelerate in March and reach 1.6%. The inflation rate was 1.4% in February, its slowest pace since October 2016. Meanwhile, the central bank expects Malaysia's inflation to be lower at 2% to 3% this year, from 3.7% last year. The lower inflation compared to 2017, is due mainly to an expected smaller contribution from global energy and commodity prices.
Malaysians are concerned with the general price levels, especially the prices of fresh food items, particularly fish. This is understandable, especially for the low-income households as food constitutes a large share of their daily expenditure. Traditionally, Malaysia has addressed inflation using economic instruments to influence aggregate demand, including the use of monetary policy. The strengthening of the ringgit should assist in curbing the inflationary pressures to the extent that inflation is influenced by rising costs of imported items.