South Korea’s consumer prices in November gained at the slowest pace since December last year, up 1.3 percent on year, due to a fall in fresh food and city gas bills in another show of low inflationary pressure from the demand end, data showed.
According to Statistics Korea on Friday, the nation’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.3 percent in November from a year earlier, easing further from a 1.8 percent gain in October.
Consumer prices became subdued after hovering above 2 percent for three straight months from July under poor weather conditions that pushed up fresh food prices.
Vegetable prices last month plummeted 14.6 percent on year, the sharpest fall since the 18.1 percent drop in August 2014.
Prices of agricultural, livestock and fishery products rose 0.7 percent on year as fishery good prices shot up 7.2 percent.
Utility fees dropped 6.7 percent as city gas bills were shaved by 4 percent.
Petroleum-related prices gained 8.2 percent on year, reflecting the hike in imported fuel cost.
Factors such as higher global oil prices and avian influenza pose some risk to inflation but overall price stability is likely to continue as prices of agricultural goods are to remain relatively low, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.
The Bank of Korea made the first rate hike move in more than six years on Thursday, but indicated it won’t further raise interest rates unless there are stronger signs of uptick in inflation and growth.
By Lee Yu-sup and Kim Hyo-jin
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