Food prices in Malaysia have gone up year-on-year in every state for the third month in a row, according to statistics released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
The increase in price index for food and non-alcoholic beverages was 1.2% for the month of May 2020 compared to May 2019. This was due to the year-on-year increase in prices of meat by 2.7%, food products not elsewhere classified by 2.6%, and vegetables by 2.4%.
DOSM noted that price increases were recorded in most states for small onions (33.6%), big onions (27.4%), and garlic (26.8%) in May. The price increases for these three items have also been seen in most states for the previous months of January to April 2020. Meanwhile, price increases for nasi lemak, fried rice, and rice with side dishes drove the price index for food away from home to increase by 1.6% yoy.
The four states with the highest increase in food and non-alcoholic beverages price index are Selangor and Putrajaya at an increase of 2.1%, Perak at 1.8%, Penang at 1.7%, and Johor at 1.3%. The price increase for these four states all surpassed the increase of the national index of 1.2%.
Despite the increase in food prices, the overall prices of basic goods and services in Malaysia, measured by the consumer price index (CPI), have once again fallen by 2.9% yoy, following on from a 0.2% decrease in March and 2.9% decrease in April. The overall decline in prices in May was driven by the fall in prices across four categories: transport (-20.8%), housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (-2.6%), clothing and footwear (-1.1%), and furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (-0.2%).
If you’re wondering why food prices in Malaysia have gone up but the overall CPI has fallen, it’s because the CPI measures consumer price changes in the form of a fixed basket of 12 differently-weighted categories of goods and services – with food and non-alcoholic beverages being just one of the 12 categories in that basket. Food and non-alcoholic beverages contribute 29.5% of the CPI weight, whereas the four categories that were the main drivers of the fall in CPI constitute 45.7% of the CPI weight.
(Source: Malay Mail)