Fri, Jan 06, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Prices of clothes and vegetables fall

AP AND AFP , TAIPEI

The nation's inflation eased further last month as prices of clothes and vegetables fell, the government statistics agency said yesterday.

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 2.21 percent last month from a year earlier.

The index for last month was also up a seasonally adjusted 0.17 percent month-on-month, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said.

The agency said in a statement that the prices of clothes fell last month on year-end discount sales. Vegetable prices also fell last month as people bought fewer vegetables in colder weather, it said.

The figures compared with November's revised increase of 2.5 percent year-on-year and a seasonally-adjusted decline of 0.5 percent month-on-month.

Last month was the fourth consecutive month that increases in the CPI had eased.

Last month's core price index, which excludes prices of fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as fishery products and energy, was up 0.45 percent from a year earlier but was down 0.14 percent from November.

For the whole of last year, the CPI rose 2.3 percent, with the core price index up 0.65 percent. But the agency said the 2.3-percent increase is the highest CPI increase in nine years, citing rises in vegetable and fruit prices following a spate of typhoons last year.

The wholesale price index, a gauge of production costs, rose 1.7 percent last month from a year earlier and was down a seasonally adjusted 0.04 percent month-on-month, the agency said.

The wholesale price index rose 0.6 percent for the whole of last year.

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