Consumer inflation in South Korea edged back up to the equal-highest level in more than five years as growth in food prices approached the fastest pace in the year to date.

South Korea’s consumer price index rose 2.2 per cent year on year in July, according to Statistics Korea, up from 1.9 per cent in June and returning to the equal-fastest pace since June 2012 after a three-month dip.

Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 5.6 per cent year on year (up 1 percentage point from June), while the cost of housing, fuel, light and water climbed 3.9 per cent (up 2.2 percentage points), helping make up for a rise of just 0.6 per cent in transport costs (down 1.4 percentage points).

Core CPI, which excludes agricultural products and oil prices, marked an annualised rise of 1.8 per cent, up 0.4 percentage percentage points from June’s level. OECD core CPI, which excludes all volatile food and energy prices, held at year-on-year growth of 1.5 per cent for the fourth straight month.

In month-on-month terms headline CPI exited marginal contraction, registering growth of 0.2 per cent. Core CPI and OECD core CPI likewise notched 0.2 per cent month-on-month growth in July after both came in flat in June.

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