Thu, May 18, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Fruit and vegetable prices rise compared with peers

VOLATILITY Prices increased 16 percent from 2003 to last year, with officials blaming flooding and typhoons for creating an uneven supply of domestic produce

CNA , TAIPEI

Prices of domestic fruit and vegetables rose by an average of 16 percent year-on-year between 2003 and last year, showing more volatility than Japan, Singapore and South Korea, where prices rose by only 0.3 percent, 2.4 percent and 5.5 percent respectively, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

The officials attributed Taiwan's much more volatile prices mainly to unpredictable weather, including typhoons, which they said caused flooding and consequently triggered irregular supplies of domestically grown produce.

In the DGBAS' latest report comparing the annual increase or decline in consumer price indexes (CPI) of countries around the world, officials said Taiwan's CPI advanced by an average of 1.2 percent annually between 2003 and last year, compared with 3.3 percent growth in South Korea, 2.8 percent growth in the US, 2.4 percent growth in Singapore and a 0.2 percent decline in Japan during the same period.

DGBAS officials found that prices of crude oil and related products surged by 22 percent in the US from 2003 to last year, compared with 9.2 percent in South Korea, 10.7 percent in Japan and 8.6 percent in Taiwan during the same period.

Prices of electronic and telecommunication products, however, generally declined worldwide in the three-year period, thanks to more advanced production technologies and global division of labor based on specialization, the officials said.

In Taiwan, prices of telecommunications equipment, PCs and peripherals fell by 14.1 percent, 7.9 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively, in the three-year period.

By comparison, prices of PCs and peripherals declined by an average of 16.7 percent in the US between 2003 and last year, while those prices slid by an average of 12.8 percent in Japan, officials said.

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