South Korea inflation registers 1.6% rise in November

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Seoul, South Korea (4E) – The South Korean government on Monday reported that inflation increased at the slowest rate in three months in November, suggesting that the economy has kept consumer prices in check.

Statistics Korea said that the consumer price index (CPI) increased by 1.6 per cent compared to the previous year amid dropping prices in key items such as televisions and medicines as well as telecommunication services.

The headline figure is safely below the 2 to 4 per cent target range set by the country’s central bank.

The core inflation, which excludes volatile food and oil prices, rose 1.3 per cent in November from the previous year, lower than the 1.5 per cent increase registered in October.

After cutting key interest rates twice so far this year, the central bank is expected to keep rates unchanged at 2.75 per cent in a meeting among policymakers next week.

Prices of fishery, livestock and agricultural products jumped by 2.9 percent in November from a year ago, according to the report. The figure, however, is lower by 4.3 per cent from the previous month.

The report shows that factory product prices increased 1.5 per cent from a year ago, as utility prices like water, electricity and heating gas rose 3.7 per cent over the same period in 2011.

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