Malaysia’s inflation climbs to over 5%, highest in eight years

Malaysia’s inflation climbs to over 5%, highest in eight yearsAmid a recovery in the ringgit exchange rate to the US dollar, Malaysia’s annual inflation rate is expected to have risen to 5.3 per cent in March, the highest in eight years, leaving Malaysians struggling to maintain their purchasing power in an economic environment that is just slowly improving.

Inflation was driven by higher fuel prices year-on-year, even as oil prices remained largely stagnant in March, according to economists surveyed by Reuters.

The March median inflation forecast of 5.3 per cent by eleven economists polled would be quicker than the 4.5 per cent rise in February, the highest since the November 2008 peak of 5.7 per cent.

Malaysia’s central bank said headline inflation will be “relatively high” in the first half of 2017 on higher fuel prices, but expects it to dip in the second half. Overall, Bank Negara Malaysia expects headline inflation to be 3 to 4 per cent throughout 2017, against 2.1 per cent last year.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian ringgit seems to be on the way of recovery as global funds turn back to Malaysian assets after they fled last November when policymakers clamped down on trading in offshore ringgit forwards to halt a slide in the currency.

Analysts expect that the ringgit may be among the region’s better performers in the coming months. They now see it at 4.46 per US dollar by mid-year, a smaller decline than the earlier prediction of 4.55, according to a Bloomberg survey. The exchange rate was at around 4.40 on April 17.

The ringgit has been the worst performer of eleven Asian currencies in the past six months, losing 5.3 per cent, as the election of US President Donald Trump in November and rising US interest rates saw investors take money out of the most liquid emerging markets.



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Amid a recovery in the ringgit exchange rate to the US dollar, Malaysia's annual inflation rate is expected to have risen to 5.3 per cent in March, the highest in eight years, leaving Malaysians struggling to maintain their purchasing power in an economic environment that is just slowly improving. Inflation was driven by higher fuel prices year-on-year, even as oil prices remained largely stagnant in March, according to economists surveyed by Reuters. The March median inflation forecast of 5.3 per cent by eleven economists polled would be quicker than the 4.5 per cent rise in February, the highest since the...

Malaysia’s inflation climbs to over 5%, highest in eight yearsAmid a recovery in the ringgit exchange rate to the US dollar, Malaysia’s annual inflation rate is expected to have risen to 5.3 per cent in March, the highest in eight years, leaving Malaysians struggling to maintain their purchasing power in an economic environment that is just slowly improving.

Inflation was driven by higher fuel prices year-on-year, even as oil prices remained largely stagnant in March, according to economists surveyed by Reuters.

The March median inflation forecast of 5.3 per cent by eleven economists polled would be quicker than the 4.5 per cent rise in February, the highest since the November 2008 peak of 5.7 per cent.

Malaysia’s central bank said headline inflation will be “relatively high” in the first half of 2017 on higher fuel prices, but expects it to dip in the second half. Overall, Bank Negara Malaysia expects headline inflation to be 3 to 4 per cent throughout 2017, against 2.1 per cent last year.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian ringgit seems to be on the way of recovery as global funds turn back to Malaysian assets after they fled last November when policymakers clamped down on trading in offshore ringgit forwards to halt a slide in the currency.

Analysts expect that the ringgit may be among the region’s better performers in the coming months. They now see it at 4.46 per US dollar by mid-year, a smaller decline than the earlier prediction of 4.55, according to a Bloomberg survey. The exchange rate was at around 4.40 on April 17.

The ringgit has been the worst performer of eleven Asian currencies in the past six months, losing 5.3 per cent, as the election of US President Donald Trump in November and rising US interest rates saw investors take money out of the most liquid emerging markets.



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Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

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Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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