PETALING JAYA: The prices of food items have reached a new high since November 2011, with the meat subgroup showing the biggest increase, says the statistics department.
“Food inflation continued to rise to a new high of 5.2%, the highest since November 2011, with 93% of items in this group recording increases,” said chief statistician Uzir Mahidin.
He said the meat subgroup showed the highest increase of 9.5% in May, compared to 6.2% in April, following the increase in demand during the festive season.
This was followed by vegetables (8.1%), milk, cheese and eggs (8.0%), fish and seafood (4.3%) and oils and fats (3.7%).
Chicken, the biggest component in the meat subgroup (46.1%), increased 13.4% in May compared to 7.5% in April, with the average price rising to RM9.70 from RM8.44 per kg in May last year.
In a statement, Uzir said the rising cost of feed, coupled with an increase in demand, had contributed to the increase in chicken prices.
He said the price of vegetables had also surged following the rise in the cost of fertilisers, and logistics issues, labour shortage as well as bad weather which affected the cultivation of crops.
He said the price of fish had also increased, including the cheapest and popular types such as Indo-Pacific mackerel, which rose to RM14.04 per kg, Indian mackerel (RM16.65) and catfish (RM10.05).
On the cost of meals, Uzir said an increase was recorded “whether a family eats at home or outside”. The cost of eating at home went up by 5.5% in May, while eating outside saw a 5.1% hike.
He said there was a significant increase for certain food when eating outside, with rice and side dishes increasing by 8.3%, roti canai (7.8%), noodle dishes (5.7%) and cooked chicken (5.1%).
In May, the consumer price index (CPI) went up 0.6% compared with April, mainly because of the increase in transport cost (1.1%), food and non-alcoholic beverages (0.9%) and restaurants and hotels (0.6%).
Uzir said all states registered an increase in the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages, with the highest recorded in Selangor and Putrajaya (6.7%), followed by Johor (6%), Penang (5.8%) and Perak (5.2%).
He also said the increase in the transport group was largely because of the rise in the average price of RON97 by 63.8% (RM4.26 per litre) compared with RM2.60 in May 2021.
However, the implementation of subsidy prices of RON95 and diesel had eased the inflation in this group, he said.
CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST DATA ON THE COVID-19 SITUATION IN MALAYSIA