Malaysia's March CPI rises 1.7% y/y, higher than forecast

* reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/econ-polls?RIC=MYCPI%3DECI poll data

KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s consumer price index (CPI) in March rose 1.7% from a year earlier, on higher prices for transportation, food and other goods and services, government data showed on Friday.

The rise surpassed the 1.4% annual growth forecast by economists in a Reuters poll. Inflation grew for the first time in a year in February, when it was up 0.1% year-on-year.

The index’s expansion in March was driven by higher prices for transport, food and non-alcoholic beverages and miscellaneous goods and services, the Statistics Department said in a statement.

Prices, however, remained subdued for housing and utilities, and for clothing and footwear, the department said. (Reporting by Joseph Sipalan; editing by Uttaresh.V)