Malaysia February CPI rises 4.2%, more than expected
The 4.2% increase in the Southeast Asian country's main inflation gauge was driven by higher prices of goods and services ranging from alcoholic beverages and tobacco to furnishing and household equipment, according to a statement by Malaysia's statistics department.
Sharply lower oil prices, a currency that hit multiyear lows in recent months, and weak global demand have complicated the economic environment for Malaysia.
In an effort to reduce its dependence on energy exports, Malaysia introduced a sales tax in April last year and cut back on government subsidies. ■