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Fuel price fall allows Malaysia to cut goods prices

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October 23, 2008

Fuel price fall allows Malaysia to cut goods prices

Malaysia will lower prices of food items and other goods in line with recent fuel price cuts, state news agency Bernama quoted the country's domestic trade minister as saying on Wednesday.

The move will be announced on Friday, Shahrir Samad said, the same day as September inflation data is released and when the central bank holds a rate-setting meeting. But he did not say whether there would be fresh fuel price cuts following a fortnightly price review.

Malaysia's inflation hit 27-year highs of 8.5 percent in August after the government hiked pump prices of petrol and diesel.

Shahrir said at least one hypermarket chain had agreed to cut prices.

"We hope more companies will agree to reduce prices of especially food and household products," he said.

September inflation data is expected to show inflation rose 8.3 percent year-on-year, according to a Reuters poll, while another poll showed that rates  would remain on hold at 3.5 percent.

Fuel prices have already been cut three times since then as global oil prices have fallen and slowing growth has now become the main worry for the economy.

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