Effects of Inflation on Consumers

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i) Discuss the effects of inflation on consumers in the country.

One should wonder how the average wage earner is going to survive in the city with the arbitrary hikes in food prices, not only in Kuala Lumpur but word has it that food prices are generally 20 to 30% higher over in East Malaysia. Hawkers and restaurants seem to raise their prices, usually citing the oil hikes and its gravy train effect on every thing from higher transportation costs, higher labour costs, profiteering and essential goods hoarding. It is unfortunate that there are some quarters that are really profiteering and taking advantage of a tight situation. Even street hawker fares are not cheap nowadays, something that Malaysia used to pride itself for its variety and cheap but good food around the clock.

However, if prices continue to go up the way it does, Malaysians will end up following in Europe’s footsteps where hardly one can find a 24-hours operating diner and served to order. Here in the city of Kuala Lumpur, one is able to walk up to any street food stall to satisfy night cravings and order a steaming hot bowl of noodles served ala carte and al fresco at your local food court or stalls 24 hours, daily.

As opposed to Europe, one would have to be prepared to step into a proper diner and pay top Ringgit for a proper meal. One has to remember, if Malaysians are eating out most of the time, the cheapest meal on the menu would probably be soup and/or a simple sandwich. The only good thing to come out of this would probably be the slimmer waistlines brought about by a change in their eating habits as they know that it is just getting too expensive to eat all meals in restaurants and other eateries. It is also a mere fact that Malaysians eat too much thus the change could do their bodies some good.

Coming back to the issue of rising food prices though, most fresh graduates on their first jobs and drawing approximately RM2,500 per month is going to find it hard pressed to...
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