Fri, Aug 06, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Inflation rate rose 1.15 percent in July

STAFF WRITER , WITH BLOOMBERG

The nation's inflation rate, measured by the consumer price index (CPI), rose 1.15 percent last month from June, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statis-tics (DGBAS) said in a statement yesterday.

The CPI was up 3.32 percent from a year earlier, boosted by rising vegetables and oil prices, which marks its biggest gain since November 1998, the DGBAS said.

Overall, the CPI was up 1.2 percent in the first seven months from a year ago, according to the agency.

"The surge in vegetable costs was a one-month phenomenon caused by the typhoon [Tropical Storm Mindulle] and doesn't necessarily mean we have inflationary pressures," said Tsuei Chou-ying (崔洲英), a DGBAS division chief.

Food prices in last month rose 6.25 percent from June, mainly due to a surge of 55.40 percent in vegetable prices, the agency said.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs has said that Mindulle cost the agricultural sector NT$9.7 billion.

Clothing prices fell 5.31 percent and the cost of educational and entertainment products rose 0.33 percent, amid higher travel costs in the summer season.

Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy costs, rose 1.3 percent from a year earlier in July, the DGBAS said.

Tsuei said the average inflation rate is expected to have a "mild increase" this year. The government earlier forecast consumer prices would rise an average 0.5 percent per month this year.

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