September 25, 2019 / 4:03 AM / 22 days ago

Malaysia's August CPI up 1.5% y/y, meets forecast

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s consumer price index rose 1.5% in August from a year earlier, marginally faster than the previous month, government data showed on Wednesday.

The annual inflation rate was in line with the pace forecast by economists in a Reuters poll, and up slightly from the 1.4% rise in July.

Inflation in August was higher in 10 of the 12 groups tracked in the index, particularly household furnishings and equipment, food, tobacco, recreation and culture, communication, and miscellaneous goods and services, data from the Statistics Department showed.

Costs, however, were down in the transport and clothing sectors, the data showed.

Inflation has been mild since an unpopular consumption tax was scrapped in June 2018, but Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has said it expected headline inflation to average higher in the second half of this year.

Analysts, however, expect slowing economic growth to keep price pressures in check.

In May, BNM cut its key interest rate for the first time since 2016, amid low inflation and concerns over slowing growth. (Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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