The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) is carrying out a study on income patterns and basic facilities which are important elements in the review of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which will be held next year and give a true picture of the country’s inflation rate, said chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin.
Uzir said the study of the income pattern will have an impact on the relative propriety of an item or element in the CPI.
“From there we will also see whether the item is in the basket of goods and the weight of the item involved, whether to increase or decrease it. This is influenced by income and expenditure which are linked to each other,” he told Bernama in conjunction with Hari Statistik Negara (MyStats Day) which falls on Oct 20.
Malaysia’s inflation, as measured by the CPI, is projected to increase but remain relatively contained between 2.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent in 2022 compared with 2.5 per cent in 2021.
Earlier, economists suggested that the country’s CPI should be reviewed since food prices continue to rise and the CPI does not reflect the real cost of living.
Malaysia’s CPI is reported to be lower than countries such as India, the United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore which are at 7.04 per cent, 8.6 per cent, 9.1 per cent and 5.6 per cent respectively.
According to the 2019 DOSM Household Expenditure Survey Report, the B40 have allocated more of their income to spend on food and beverage items compared to the M40 at 18 per cent and the T20 at 12.6 per cent, and with the increase in food price inflation in recent months, the B40 may have spent more than 50 per cent of their income on food items alone.
The middle to upper M40 is also a vulnerable income group as their spending patterns are comparable to the B40 in relation to food consumption.
DOSM’s Estimated Household Income and Poverty Incidence Report (2020) has revealed that around 20 per cent or 580,000 households fall from the M40 to B40 income category in 2020.
Commenting on MyStats Day, Uzir told the media that MyStats Day aims to give awareness to the community and also increase the importance of statistics as the foundation of the prosperity of society and the country.
“It also aims to increase awareness and understanding among the community about the importance of statistics to the country and at the same time strengthen cooperation with stakeholders, especially for the data collection process,” he explained.