Illustrative image (Source: themalaymailonline.com)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia’s consumer price index in February rose 4.5 percent year-on-year, the highest in more than eight years.

Meanwhile, previous forecast in a Bloomberg survey stated that inflation rate of the country would stand from 3.9 percent to 4.3 percent.

Malaysia’s prices in February increased 1.3 percent compared to the previous month. Transport costs surged 17.9 percent, driven by the rise of domestic fuel prices, adding pressure on the Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM) to raise interest rates.

Earlier, the BNM said inflation will probably average 3 percent to 4 percent this year, up from 2.1 percent in 2016, saying that 2017 will be another challenging year for the monetary policy. 

The bank also predicts Malaysia's economy will rise 4.3 - 4.8 percent in 2017. All sectors are expected to grow, with the service and manufacturing sectors being the largest contributors for the national economy. Agriculture is also hoped to recover after the influence of the El Nino.- VNA