Year-on-year, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 1.9 percent in May, accelerating from a 1.4 percent rise in April and marking the highest food inflation in four months. In addition, cost rose faster for: housing & utilities (1.1 percent vs 1 percent in April), education (1.1 percent vs 1 percent), miscellaneous goods & services (1.9 percent vs 1.5 percent); and alcoholic beverages & tobacco (0.7 percent vs 0.1 percent); while was unchanged for the second straight month for health. At the same time, cost of transport dropped much slower (-0.6 percent vs -1.9 percent). In contrast, prices slowed for both restaurant & hotels (1.8 percent vs 1.9 percent); and furnishing, household equipment & routine maintenance (1.5 percent vs 3.3 percent). Additionally, cost fell further for recreation & culture (-1 percent vs -0.4 percent), clothing & footwear (-0.2 percent, the same as in April), and communication (-2.7 percent vs -2.6 percent).
For 2019, the Bank of Korea targets inflation rate to be at 2 percent.
Core CPI, which excludes oil and agricultural products, advanced 0.6 percent year-on-year in May, following a 0.7 percent gain in April. It marked the lowest figure since December 1999.