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Consumer inflation kicked back into high gear last month in South Korea as prices rose at their quickest clip since 2012.

South Korea’s consumer price index rose 2 per cent year on year in January, according to Statistics Korea. The acceleration from 1.3 per cent in December easily outstripped a median estimate from economists predicting growth of 1.5 per cent.

That was the fastest pace since October 2012, when prices rose 2.1 per cent year on year.

Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices saw the biggest rise of 5.3 per cent for the period (up 1.2 percentage points from December), though transport costs weren’t too far behind with growth of 3.8 per cent (up 2.8 percentage points).

Core CPI, which excludes agricultural products and oil prices and came in at 1.5 per cent for the period. OECD core CPI, which excludes all volatile food and energy prices, was 1.7 per cent.

In month-on-month terms CPI rose 0.9 per cent year on year, up from just 0.1 per cent in December and also beating expectations of 0.4 per cent growth.

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