S.Korea’s inflation growth hits nearly 14-yr high in May

South Korea’s inflation growth hit a nearly 14-year high in May due to high energy and food costs due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and the economic recovery, official data revealed on Friday.

Consumer prices jumped 5.4 per cent last month from a year earlier, accelerating from a 4.8 percent on-year spike in April, Yonhap News Agency report citing the data issued by the state-run Statistics Korea.

It marked the steepest on-year increase since August 2008, when consumer prices soared 5.6 per cent.

Inflation growth also exceeded 5 per cent for the first time since a 5.1 per cent rise in September 2008.

Consumer prices rose above 2 per cent, the central bank’s inflation target over the medium term, for the 14th straight month in May.

“In May, prices of petroleum products and processed foods, and personal service prices extended their high growth. The price growth of farm products also picked up,” Eo Woon-sun, a senior Statistics Korea official, told reporters.

Prices of petroleum products jumped 34.8 per cent on-year in May, an acceleration from a 34.4 per cent gain in April due to high energy costs.

The economic recovery and the lifting of major Covid-19 restrictions pushed up personal service prices and the price of dining out.

Personal service prices rose 5.1 per cent on-year, the fastest gain in December 2008. The costs of dining out jumped 7.4 per cent.

Prices of agricultural, livestock and fisheries products increased 4.2 per cent on-year, accelerating from a 1.9 per cent rise in April.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and oil prices, advanced 3.4 per cent on-year last month, the highest since February 2009.

Another gauge of core inflation, which excludes prices of agricultural and petroleum products, jumped 4.1 per cent on-year, the fastest climb since April 2009.




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