South Korea’s consumer price growth hits 14-month low

March 2nd, 2012 - 2:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Seoul, March 2 (IANS) South Korea’s consumer price growth hit a 14-month low in February, alleviating concerns that high consumer price inflation may affect the overall economic recovery negatively, a government report showed Friday.

Consumer prices advanced 3.1 percent in February from a year earlier, down from a 3.4 percent on-year rise tallied in the previous month, according to Statistics Korea.

From a month before, consumer prices grew 0.4 percent last month. The headline inflation was the lowest since December 2010 when it recorded a 3.0 percent on-year gain, and stayed below the upper ceiling of the Bank of Korea (BOK)’s inflation target band of 2-4 percent for two straight months, reported Xinhua.

Prices of manufactured products jumped 4.7 percent on-year in February. Prices of petroleum products climbed 7.9 percent as global oil prices rose sharply on fears of supply disruptions that were triggered by confrontation between Tehran and Washington over the former’s nuclear ambitions.

The fresh food price index, a gauge of fruits and vegetables, rose 0.4 percent on-year in February. Fruit prices soared 11.2 percent last month, but vegetable prices dropped 9.8 percent.

Service sector prices grew 2.5 percent in February from a year before. Prices for housing rental and private services gained 5.0 percent and 3.0 percent each, but public service charges fell 0.6 percent.

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