Malaysia's April CPI rises 4.7% y/y, fastest since 2017

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

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s consumer price index (CPI) in April rose 4.7% from a year earlier, its fastest growth in more than four years, government data showed on Friday.

April’s rise was just below the 4.9% annual expansion forecast by economists in a Reuters poll and was the fastest since March 2017, when the index had grown 5.1%. In March, the index had risen 1.7%.

Malaysia’s central bank has said headline inflation was expected to temporarily spike in April and May, due to a lower base from cheaper retail fuel prices last year.

Inflation in April was largely driven by higher fuel prices with the transport sector index rising 27% from a year earlier, the Statistics Department said in a statement.

Higher prices were also seen for housing and utilities, food and non-alcoholic beverages, and household furnishings and maintenance, the department said.

Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Rashmi Aich