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Malaysia’s latest inflation data came in below market expectations, which may allow BNM to maintain a softer monetary policy

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Malaysian inflation has dropped to a two-year low. What will BNM do next? What will happen to the ringgit exchange rate? The OctaFX financial market analyst Kar Yong Ang shares his opinion.

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – Media OutReach – 28 August 2023 – According to the Department of Statistics statement on August 25, Malaysia’s annual consumer inflation fell to 2% in July 2023, a decline from June’s 2.4%. It has shown a moderating trend since January with its 3.7%. This trend can be attributed to slower price increases for food and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as restaurant and hotel services.

‘Inflation rate in Malaysia has now dropped to a two-year low,’ said Kar Yong Ang, the OctaFX financial market analyst, adding that ‘such a decline cannot be ignored by BNM, which will have to signal a weakening of monetary policy or revise the annual inflation forecast.’

The Malaysian ringgit weakened after the CPI report came out, trading at around 4.643 against the U.S. dollar. ‘Nevertheless, the technical picture suggests that USDMYR may decline by 3% in the short term, driven by market expectations of BNM monetary policy easing’, said Kar Yong Ang. ‘The key target for USDMYR is in the range of 4.500-4.520’, he added.

Malaysia’s economic landscape creates a favourable environment marked by growing domestic demand and rising employment. Coupled with lower inflation, this makes a strong background for the national currency to grow throughout the current year.

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