By Yantoultra Ngui

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysia's inflation rate accelerated in March toward its highest level since late 2008, owing to the low base last year and gains in retail fuel prices, official data showed Wednesday.

The consumer-price index rose 5.1% from a year ago according to the Department of Statistics, compared with a 4.5% year-over-year increase in February. The figure came in below a forecast 5.5% increase from a Wall Street Journal survey of 10 economists.

March's inflation rate was the highest since it hit 5.7% in November 2008.

On a monthly basis, the CPI declined 0.1% after seasonal adjustment, the data showed.

Write to Yantoultra Ngui at yantoultra.ngui@wsj.com

(END) Dow JonesNewswires

April 19, 2017 00:16 ET (04:16 GMT)

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