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OctaFX: Malaysia's annual inflation may fall for the fifth month in a row

OctaFX: Malaysia's annual inflation may fall for the fifth month in a row

Malaysian inflation is likely to decline for the fifth consecutive month in July. Will it have an impact on Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM)? How will the ringgit feel? Kar Yong Ang, the OctaFX financial market analyst, shares his opinion.

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Media OutReach - 24 August 2023 - The Department of Statistics will release monthly inflation data in Malaysia on 25 August. Annual inflation is expected to decline to 2.1% in July.

According to official data released last month, Malaysia's annual inflation rate slowed to 2.4% in June 2023 from 2.8% in May. Lower inflation rates were recorded in food and non-alcoholic beverages, transportation, and miscellaneous goods and services.

Overall, inflation in Malaysia was lower compared to neighbouring regions, with June inflation in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore at 3.5%, 5.4%, and 4.5%, respectively.

Malaysia's economic growth is projected to end the year near the lower end of the 4.0%–5.0% range, contributing to a decline in annual inflation in the second half of 2023.

According to Kar Yong Ang, the OctaFX financial market analyst, annual inflation will drop further in July, the fifth consecutive month of decline. Such a decline cannot be ignored by BNM, which will have to signal a weakening of monetary policy or revise the annual inflation forecast.

'BNM will likely choose to revise the annual inflation forecast slightly downwards. Even if the regulator does not do so, the local currency still tends to appreciate due to the continued growth of the Malaysian economy,' said Kar Yong Ang. 'With domestic demand picking up amid improving employment and falling inflation, the ringgit might appreciate, with USDMYR falling towards 4.520 and possibly lower.'

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