RTTNews - Malaysia's consumer prices declined for the second consecutive month in July, the Department of Statistics said Wednesday.

The consumer price index or CPI dropped 2.4% year-over-year in July, compared with a 1.4% fall in the previous month. July's fall matched economists' expectation. This decline was mainly due to changes in petrol and diesel prices starting in June 2008, the statistical office said.

In July, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages increased 2%, while prices for clothing and footwear dropped 0.9%. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco prices recorded an annual growth of 8%.

At the same time, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels prices rose 1.3%, while transport charges plunged 19.9%.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.1% in July. Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 0.2% in July from the prior month, while health and transport charges increased by 0.1% each in July. However, clothing and footwear prices dropped 0.2%.

For the January to July period of the year, consumer prices increased 1.7% compared to the same period of the previous year.

In July, Malaysia's central bank retained its overnight policy rate unchanged at 2%. According to Bank Negara Malaysia, negative inflation is expected to be temporary and is projected to turn positive as domestic economic conditions improve.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com