By Yantoultra Ngui

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysia's inflation in April eased from an eight-year high the previous month as fuel prices moderated, official data showed Wednesday.

The consumer-price index rose 4.4% from a year ago, according to the Department of Statistics, compared with a 5.1% year-over-year increase in March. The figure came in below a forecast 4.6% increase from a Wall Street Journal survey of 11 economists.

Compared with the month before, the CPI declined 0.3% after seasonal adjustment, the data showed.

April's inflation rate was driven mainly by higher costs for transportation, food and nonalcoholic beverages, according to a statement from the Department of Statistics.

April's inflation was inline with most economists' view that inflation in the Southeast Asian nation had peaked in March and would likely moderate through the rest of the year.

Bank Negara Malaysia said in March that inflation was projected to trend higher at 3.0%-4.0% this year, compared with 2.1% in 2016, mainly because of the pass-through effect of higher global oil prices on domestic retail-fuel prices.

The central bank said, however, that cost-driven inflation was unlikely to have a significant effect on broader price trends. It said it expects core inflation to rise modestly.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 17, 2017 00:20 ET (04:20 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.