December inflation fell 1.4% on-year, up 0.5% on-month

KUALA LUMPUR: The inflation rate or Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December last year fell by 1.4% due mainly to a decline in transport and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, according to the Statistics Department.

Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said on Friday the December CPI was at 120.6 compared with 122.3 in December 2019.

“The decrease in the overall index was attributed by the decline in transport (-8.4%); housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuels (-3.3%); clothing & footwear (-0.4%). Restaurants & hotels (- 0.2%) and furnishings, household equipment & routine household maintenance (- 0.1%) which contributed 48.6% to overall weight, ” he said.

He said food & non-alcoholic beverages increased by 1.4% to 135.8 from 133.9 a year ago. This group contributes 29.5% of CPI weight.

However, the CPI without fuel fell 0.1% in December last year to 112.8 as compared to 112.9 in December 2019.

CPI without fuel covers all goods and services except unleaded petrol RON95, unleaded petrol RON97 and diesel.

The average price of unleaded petrol RON 95 in December 2020 decreased to RM1.74 per litre as compared to RM2.08 in December 2019 while for unleaded petrol RON 97, it fell to RM2.04 per litre from RM2.63. The average price of diesel fell to RM1.93 per litre from RM2.18.

Mohd Uzir said core index rose 0.7% in December last year from a year ago due to higher prices for miscellaneous goods & services (2.2%); food & non-alcoholic beverages (1.2%); health (1.0%).

The core index excludes most volatile items of fresh food as well as administered prices of goods and services.

“Although year-on-year CPI decreased, CPI on a monthly basis increased by 0.5% from November 2020 due to transport (3.0%) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.5%), ” he said.

As for CPI for 4Q of 2020, it decreased by 1.5% to 120.3 as compared to 122.1. On a quarterly basis, the CPI increased by 0.2% from 3Q.

The CPI for 2020 declined by 1.2% from 2019.

For all states, the CPI recorded a decline of between -0.9% and -2.2% in December last year from a year ago.

Kedah & Perlis recorded a -2.2% decline, Sabah and Labuan (-2%), Johor (-2%), Melaka (-2%), Sarawak (-1.9%) and Negeri Sembilan (-1.9%).

However, all states recorded higher prices of food & non-alcoholic beverages. The highest increase was recorded by Pahang at 2.3%. This was followed by Selangor & Putrajaya (2.2%), Perak (2%), Terengganu (2.0%) and Negeri Sembilan (1.7%).