Hong Kong Inflation Rate Slows to 2.6% in March

Consumer prices in Hong Kong rose 2.6 percent year-on-year in March of 2018, down from a 3.1 percent increase in the prior month, mainly due to a slowdown in cost for electricity, gas & water, food and transport. However, the March rate was higher than the average of 2.4 percent for January and February 2018. Inflation is averaged for the first two months of the year to neutralize the Lunar New Year effects. In 2018, the holidays fell in February but in January in 2017.
Census and Statistics Department | Gabriela Costa | gabriela.costa@tradingeconomics.com 4/23/2018 11:07:33 AM

Year-on-year, prices slowed for electricity, gas and water supply (4.3 percent from 10.9 percent in February); food, excluding meals bought away from home (5 percent from 4.6 percent); transport (1.6 percent from 2.1 percent) and clothing and footwear (0.9 percent from 3.5 percent). In contrast, cost went up faster for housing (2.6 percent from 2.5 percent) and alcoholic drinks and tobacco (1 percent from 0.1 percent).

On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged down 0.3 percent, following a 1.3 percent gain in February.

Underlying consumer inflation, which excludes the effects of one-off government relief measures went up slightly to 2.6 percent compared with the average of 2.3 percent for January and February combined. The larger increase was mainly attributable to the Easter holidays, that began earlier this year, in late March, and resulted in a notable year-on-year increase in the charges for package tours.

A Government spokesman said that with the continued above-trend economic growth, external and local inflation pressure would rise somewhat over the course f 2018. In spite of this, inflation rate is expected to be largely contained in the near term.

Hong Kong Inflation Rate Slows to 2.6% in March