South Korea Inflation Rate Eases to 2-1/2-Year Low in February


South Korea's annual inflation rate slowed to 0.5 percent in February of 2019 from 0.8 percent in the previous month and matching market expectations. It was the lowest inflation rate since August 2016, amid a sharp slowdown in prices of food and a faster drop in cost of transport.

Year-on-year, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 0.4 percent in February, slowing from a 2.6 percent rise in January and reaching the lowest food inflation in 13 months. Also, cost advanced at a softer rate for restaurant & hotels (2.8 percent vs 3 percent in January); education (1.4 percent vs 1.6 percent); recreation & culture (0.6 percent vs 1.1 percent); furnishing, household equipment & routine maintenance (3.2  percent vs 2.6 percent) and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (a flat reading vs 0.1 percent). In addition, prices fell further for transport (-4.2 percent vs -3.8 percent); and communication (-2.3 percent vs -1.5 percent). In contrast, cost of housing & utilities increased at a faster pace (1.5 percent vs 0.9 percent); and inflation was steady for miscellaneous goods & services (at 1.6 percent, the same as in January); and clothing and footwear (at 0.4 percent). Meantime, cost of health dropped less (-0.4 percent vs - 0.5 percent).

Core CPI, which excludes oil and agricultural products, increased by 1.3 percent year-on-year in February, after a 1.2 percent rise in January.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.4 percent in February, rebounding from a 0.1 percent decline in a month earlier but slightly below market consensus of a 0.5 percent increase. It marked the first monthly gain since September last year.

South Korea Inflation Rate Eases to 2-1/2-Year Low in February


Statistics Korea l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
3/5/2019 12:54:37 PM