MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Malaysians paying higher prices for their meals


The prices of food have risen as more people are now eating out. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Consumers now have to pay more to fill their bellies. Data from the department of statistics Malaysia shows that the prices of 89.1% of all food items recorded increases in April.

This led to a 4.1% rise in inflation for food and beverages in April, compared with the same month in 2021.

In a statement today, chief statistician Uzir Mahidin said the increase in food prices continued to be a major contributor to inflation.

He attributed the increase in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages to an increase in the consumption of food away from home. This showed an increase of 4.4% compared with 4% in March.

For instance, he said, the prices of satay and rice with side dishes rose 7.1% in April, compared with 6.6% in March.

Another item that also recorded a price increase was cooked beef which was up 6.9% in April compared with 5.7% in March.

Prices in all sub-groups in the food and non-alcoholic beverages also recorded price increases.

For instance, the consumer price index (CPI) for milk, cheese and egg rose 7.2% in April compared with 7% in March. The price of meat was up 6.2%, vegetables 4.5% and seafood 3.8%.

Uzir attributed the increase in the prices of vegetables to uncertainties in the weather that affected the maturity of vegetables, leading to a decline of supply in the market.

Among the other factors that also led to more costly greens were the higher prices of fertilisers and logistics services as well as a shortage of labour in the farms.

He said the implementation of the maximum price scheme for the Hari Raya celebrations from April 26 to May 10 as an initiative to stabilise prices and to ensure availability of supply in the market could ease the inflation rate, especially for the food group, in May.

Other sectors that also saw increases in the CPI were restaurants and hotels (3.2%), transport (3%), furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (2.7%), miscellaneous goods and services (1.8%), recreation services and culture (1%) as well as housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (0.8%).

The alcoholic beverages and tobacco as well as health segments saw marginal increases of 0.5% and 0.2% respectively compared with the same month in 2021.

Uzir said the increase in the CPI in the transport group was largely due to the rise in the average prices of unleaded petrol (RON97) to RM3.84 in April 2022 from RM2.55 per litre in April 2021.

This, he said, was in line with the 63.3% increase in the prices of Brent crude oil to US$105.78 per barrel in April 2022.

All states and federal territories registered increases in the CPI, with Selangor and Putrajaya leading the pack at 3.1%. Pahang and Labuan recorded the lowest increases at 1.6% and 1.4% respectively.

The states and territories that recorded the highest increases in the CPI for food and non-alcoholic beverages were Selangor and Putrajaya at 5.7%, Penang at 4.4% and Perak and Johor at 4.2% each.

Uzir said the inflation rate for those earning below RM3,000 a month rose 2.3% to 123.6% compared with the same month in 2021.

He attributed the increase to more costly milk, cheese and egg, meat, oils and fats as well as vegetables.

Overall, the CPI rose 2.3% to 125.9% in April 2022 compared with the same month in the previous year. - FMT

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