CPI decline 1.4% in December 2020

by ASILA JALIL / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

MALAYSIA’S inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) declined 1.4% in December 2020, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).

The CPI was dragged by the decline in transport (-8.4%), housing, water, electricity gas and other fuels (-3.3%), clothing and footwear (-0.4%), restaurants and hotels (-0.2%) and furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (-0.1%) which contributed 48.6% to the overall weight.

Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin said 339 items out of 552 items covered in CPI last month showed an increase against December 2019 while 145 items declined and 68 items remain unchanged.

“Based on the performance of 552 items by category of goods and services, non-durable goods (296 items) is a category that experienced the most price increase with 206 items, 73 items decreased and 17 items were unchanged as compared to services, semi-durable goods and durable goods,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 1.4% to 135.8 as compared to 133.9 in the corresponding month of the preceding year, contributing 29.5% of the overall CPI weight.

Similarly, miscellaneous goods and services increased 2.2%, followed by health (1%), alcoholic beverages and tobacco (0.6%), education (0.6%) and recreation services and culture (0.2%).

Mohd Uzir also said the CPI without fuel slipped 0.1% last month to 112.8 as compared to 112.9 in December 2019.

The average price of unleaded petrol RON95 in December 2020 decreased to RM1.74 per litre as compared to RM2.08 in December 2019.

In addition, the average price of unleaded petrol RON97 dropped to RM2.04 per litre as compared to RM2.63 while the average price of diesel declined to RM1.93 per litre from RM2.18 in December 2019.

He noted core index increased 0.7% last month attributable to the increase recorded by miscellaneous goods and services (2.2%), food and non-alcoholic beverages (1.2%), health (1.0%), housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (0.6%) and education (0.6%).

“Although year-on-year CPI decreased, CPI on a monthly basis increased by 0.5% as compared to November 2020. The increase was attributed by transport (3.0%) and alcoholic beverages and tobacco (0.5%).

“CPI for the fourth quarter of 2020 decreased by 1.5% to 120.3 as compared to 122.1 in the same quarter of the previous year. On a quarterly basis, the CPI increased 0.2% as compared to the third quarter of 2020,” he said.

The index for all states decreased between -0.9 per cent to -2.2 per cent in December 2020 as compared to December 2019.

Kedah and Perlis recorded the highest decrease at -2.2% followed by Sabah, Labuan, Johor and Melaka at -2% and Sarawak and Negeri Sembilan both at -1.9%.

However, all states registered an increase in the index of food and non-alcoholic beverages. The highest increase recorded by Pahang at 2.3% was followed by Selangor and Putrajaya (2.2%), Perak (2.0%), Terengganu (2.0%) and Negeri Sembilan (1.7%).

Meanwhile, the country’s Leading Index (LI) for November 2020 increased 7.1% to 109.1 points from November 2019, following 6.3% in October last year.

“Bursa Malaysia Industrial Index which remained to prop up significantly in the reference month was mainly fuelled by the Health Care Index.

“The trend is in line with the monthly change of LI which posted a growth of 0.4% in November 2020 as against -0.7% in the previous month.

“The gain was primarily contributed by real imports of semiconductors (0.5%) driven by the encouraging demand of electronic integrated circuits,” said Mohd Uzir.

The reimplementation of the Movement Control Order in selected states however will affect the pace of recovery.