Malaysia Consumer Price Index - 26 March 2024

February inflation unexpectedly hits 1.8% YoY, spurred by water tariff and holiday spending

After plateauing at 1.5% YoY for three consecutive months, headline inflation surprised on the upside at 1.8% YoY or 0.5% MoM in February (Jan: 1.5%; Consensus: 1.5%; KIBB: 1.4%)

  • The above-consensus reading was primarily attributed to the greater-than-expected impact of the new water tariff and increased spending during the Lunar New Year (LNY). Notably, data from indicates a significant surge in inbound travel to Malaysia during this year’s LNY festive period compared to 2023, with a notable 53.9% increase.
  • Core inflation (1.8%; Jan: 1.8%): stabilised near its long-term average of around 1.82% and registered a modest 0.2% MoM growth (Jan: 0.3%).