S.Korea's inflation at 25-month low

  • IANS
  • Economy News
S.Korea's inflation at 25-month low
Credit: © Reuters.

Seoul, Aug 2 (IANS) South Korea's consumer price growth slowed for the sixth straight month in July to the lowest level in 25 months on the back of lower oil prices, data showed on Wednesday.Consumer prices, a key gauge of inflation, rose 2.3 per cent last month from a year earlier, compared with a 2.7 per cent increase in June, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

It marked the lowest advance since June 2021.

In June, inflation fell below 3 per cent for the first time since September 2021, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 3.3 per cent on-year in July, down from a 3.5 per cent increase tallied in June.

The prices of utility services continued to grow sharply, advancing 21.1 per cent over the period, as the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. raised electricity bills to make up for its snowballing losses.

South Korea depends heavily on imports for its energy needs.

The overall rise, however, was limited as prices of agricultural and fishery products edged down 0.5 per cent on the back of the falling costs of beef and pork.

Prices of industrial products remained unchanged in July, as those of diesel and gasoline plunged 33.4 per cent and 22.8 per cent, respectively, offsetting gains in bread that shot up 8.1 per cent.

The price of fuel, in particular, fell at the sharpest rate since the agency started compiling related data in 1985.

The service sector gained 3.1 per cent on-year in July due to higher insurance and house management costs.

Prices of daily necessities -- 144 items closely related to people's everyday lives, such as food, clothing and housing -- climbed 1.8 per cent on-year, slowing from a 2.3 per cent jump a month earlier.

Last month, the Bank of Korea kept its key interest rate unchanged at 3.5 per cent for the fourth straight time.

The central bank delivered seven consecutive rate hikes from April 2022 to January 2023.

--IANS

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