Year-on-year, prices increased at a slower pace for housing (+0.3 percent compared to +0.4 percent in November), as cost of public housing rent dropped sharply (-5.6 percent, unchanged from November) while that of private housing rent went up slightly (+0.5 percent from +0.6 percent); food (+3.1 percent from +3.2 percent); and miscellaneous services (+2 percent from +2.1 percent). Additional upward pressure came from transport (+2 percent from +1.8 percent in November) and miscellaneous goods (+2.3 percent from +2.2 percent).
By contrast, cost fell for durable goods (-5.2 percent from -5 percent in November); clothing and footwear (-3.6 percent from -3 percent) and electricity, gas and water (-0.3 percent from +0.3 percent).
Meanwhile, underlying consumer prices, which exclude the effects of one-off government relief measures, went up 2 percent, the smallest gain since July last year, mainly due to the smaller increases in the prices of fresh vegetables.
For 2016 as a whole, the consumer price index rose by 2.4 percent over a year earlier. Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, it rose by 2.3 percent.
Looking ahead, inflation risks should remain contained in the near term, given the soft import prices and tame local cost pressures, a spokesman commented.