Tue, May 06, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Consumer prices steady, may decline on SARS

BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

Consumer prices were little changed last month as fuel became cheaper, countering gains in food and clothing costs. The consumer price index (CPI) in April fell 0.14 percent from a year earlier mainly because of declines in food and housing costs, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

However, the CPI in April rose a seasonally adjusted 0.12 percent from March, the DGBAS said. Prices may fall in coming months as a deadly virus keeps shoppers at home, forcing stores, restaurants and airlines to offer discounts to win business, a DGBAS official said yesterday.

In the first four months of the year, CPI was down 0.19 percent from a year earlier, according to the DGBAS.

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