Thursday, January 21, 2010

Slight increase in Malaysian CPI last year

PUTRAJAYA: Inflation was kept low last year with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recording a slight increase of 0.6% although consumers had complained of having to fork out more for goods, particularly food items.

Domestic Trade, Coopera tives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this was caused by higher prices of gold and precious stones as well as fresh produce such as seafood and vegetables.

The CPI for December last year was 1.1% higher compared to the same month in 2008.

“With the monsoon ending, we hope to see a lower CPI for the coming months.

“However, there are other issues beyond our control, especially when it concerns imported goods,” he told a press conference after chairing his ministry’s post-Cabinet meeting yesterday.

Ismail Sabri said the increase in CPI was brought about by increases in the indices of all the main groups except transport, clothing, footwear and communication.

Notable increases were recorded for food and non-alcoholic beverages (4.1%) housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (1.4%) and miscellaneous goods and services (3.8%).

On another matter, Ismail Sabri said that the National Economic Council was working on the mechanism on how to cap the amount of subsidised petrol which could be purchased by a car owner monthly.

“The ministry is providing the council with feedback and res ponses that we have received from consumers.

“We realise that the public is anxious to know how affected they will be when the new policy is implemented but we urge everyone to be patient and not to speculate,” he said.

*Taken from The Star Online

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