South Korea consumer inflation softens in April

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Consumer inflation in South Korea eased slightly in April from a multi-year high hit a month prior as growth in the cost of both food and fuel softened visibly.

South Korea’s consumer price index rose 1.9 per cent year on year in April, according to Statistics Korea. That was down from 2.2 per cent in March – the fastest pace since June 2012 – and just below a median estimate of 2 per cent from economists polled by Reuters.

Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 2.6 per cent year on year (down 0.9 percentage points from March), while transport costs grew 5.4 per cent (down 1 percentage point).

Core CPI, which excludes agricultural products and oil prices, marked a year-on-year rise of 1.3 per cent, decelerating by 0.1 percentage points for a second month running. OECD core CPI, which excludes all volatile food and energy prices, slowed for the first time in four months, dropping from 1.7 per cent growth in March to annualised growth of 1.5 per cent last month.

In month-on-month terms headline CPI fell into marginal contraction of 0.1 per cent, the first sequential fall in prices since November. The month-on-month reading for core CPI improved marginally to register a 0.1 per cent rise – after recording no growth in March – while OECD core CPI slowing held at 0.1 per cent growth from the previous month.

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