Tue, Jul 06, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Higher food, energy prices boost CPI


Consumer and wholesale prices rose sharply last month on the back of higher food, energy and base metal prices, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

Last month's consumer price index (CPI) jumped 1.75 percent from a year ago, reflecting increases in meat and fruit prices, while an increase of 0.26 percent from May was attributed to higher energy and vegetables costs.

Wholesale prices last month rose 7.43 percent year-on-year due to higher oil, base metal and chemical material prices and were up 0.29 percent from May, the directorate said.

For the six months to June, CPI rose 0.86 percent year-on-year and wholesale prices grew 4.43 percent.

Inflation may pick up this month because of the damage caused by Tropical Storm Mindulle.

"There will be a short-term impact on prices of food and vegetables because of the typhoon damage," Tsuei Chou-ying (崔洲英), a DGBAS division chief, said yesterday at a press conference. "Prices have resumed a rising trend but we don't expect inflationary pressure to increase."

The cost of food, which accounts for about a quarter of the index, rose 0.4 percent from May, the directorate said.

Clothing prices fell an unadjusted 3.2 percent last month from April, and the cost of educational and entertainment products, which include computers, televisions and DVD players, rose 0.2 percent.

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