South Korea Inflation Rate Hits 4-Month High


South Korea's annual inflation rate inched higher to 0.7 percent in May of 2019 from 0.6 percent in the previous month while market had expected 0.8 percent. It was the highest inflation rate since January, as prices rose faster for both food and housing, while transport cost declined much less.

Year-on-year, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 1.9 percent in May, accelerating from a 1.4 percent rise in April and marking the highest food inflation in four months. In addition, cost rose faster for: housing & utilities (1.1 percent vs 1 percent in April), education (1.1 percent vs 1 percent), miscellaneous goods & services (1.9 percent vs 1.5 percent); and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.7 percent vs 0.1 percent); while was unchanged for the second straight month for health. At the same time, cost of transport dropped much slower (-0.6 percent vs -1.9 percent). In contrast, prices slowed for both restaurant & hotels (1.8 percent vs 1.9 percent); and furnishing, household equipment & routine maintenance (1.5 percent vs 3.3 percent). Additionally, cost fell further for recreation & culture (-1 percent vs -0.4 percent), clothing & footwear (-0.2 percent, the same as in April), and communication (-2.7 percent vs -2.6 percent). 

For 2019, the Bank of Korea targets inflation rate to be at 2 percent.

Core CPI, which excludes oil and agricultural products, advanced 0.6 percent year-on-year in May, following a 0.7 percent gain in April. It marked the lowest figure since December 1999.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased by 0.2 percent in May, following a 0.4 percent gain in April and below forecasts of a 0.3 percent rise.

South Korea Inflation Rate Hits 4-Month High


Statistics Korea l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
6/4/2019 3:05:13 AM