[Photo by Yonhap]
South Korea’s producer prices in May halted their decline in four months, helped in part by increased consumption after the government’s coronavirus relief payout to all households.
The producer price index in May stood at 101.98, nearly unchanged from the previous month’s 101.93, the Bank of Korea reported Tuesday.
Against a year earlier, the index was down 1.7 percent, extending the decline for the third straight month.
The producer price index measures the wholesale price of goods and services supplied by local producers and serves as a barometer for future inflation. It is indexed to the base year of 2015.
Agricultural, fishery and livestock product prices rose 2.7 percent in May from a month ago, as the state emergency fund helped boost household spending. Livestock prices jumped 5.8 percent, with pork up 17.4 percent and beef 4.8 percent. Fishery gained 3.0 percent and fresh produce 0.6 percent.
In early May, Korea distributed up to 1 million won ($822) to each household in efforts to revive local demand battered by COVID-19.
Industrial product prices slipped 0.2 percent on month, pulled down by low global oil prices. Chemical good prices dropped 0.7 percent, slumping for the ninth straight month. Computer, electronic and optical device prices were down 0.5 percent.
Utility prices inched down 0.1 percent. Energy prices were off 1.6 percent and IT products 0.2 percent.
Service prices gained 0.1 percent, with finance and insurance services adding 0.9 percent and restaurants and accommodation 0.2 percent.
By Kim Hyo-jin
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]