KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia recorded a 2.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase in consumer prices in May amid the accelerating cost of food.
The May headline inflation was above the 2.6% median growth forecast of a Reuters poll of economists and higher than the 2.3% increase recorded in April.
In a statement, National Statistics Department chief statistician Datuk Sri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said food inflation rose to a new high of 5.2%, the highest since November 2011.
"Out of 93% of items that increased in the food group, 29.4% increased in the range of less than 5%, 37.7% increase between 5-10% while 32% increased more than 10%," he said.
Mohd Uzir noted that chicken prices, the largest component in the meat subgroup, rose 13.4% y-o-y, due to the rising cost of feed coupled with an increase in demand.
In other sectors, the cost of transport increased 3.9%, restaurants and hotels rose 3.7%, and furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance gained 2.9%.
"The increase in the transport group was largely due to the increase in the average price of Unleaded Petrol RON97 by 63.8% (RM4.26 per litre) as compared to RM2.60 in the same month of the previous year.
"The increase in fuel prices was a direct impact to the increase in the price of Brent crude oil (65.2%) to US$112.37 per barrel in May 2022," said Mohd Uzir.
Core inflation meanwhile was up 2.4% y-o-y in May, led by a 4.7% increase in the transport group and a 4.4% increase in the food and non-alcoholic beverages sector.