Sat, Aug 05, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Increase in inflation slows on cheaper fruit and vegetables

AP AND BLOOMBERG , TAIPEI

The nation's consumer prices rose at a slower pace last month than in the previous month due to cheaper fruit and vegetables, the government said yesterday.

The consumer price index (CPI) -- a key barometer for inflation -- rose 0.79 percent in July from the same month last year, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said.

The rise was slower than the 1.73 percent on-year increase recorded in June, the agency said.

Oil and power up

Higher oil and electricity prices in July, in addition to higher prices of cigarettes, compared with the same period last year, contributed to the index rise, according to DGBAS.

Last month, state-run Taiwan Power Co (台電) raised electricity prices, while Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油) hiked oil prices.

The nation's diesel and fuel costs soared 18.6 percent last month from a year earlier and gained 3 percent from June, according to DGBAS.

Edibles down

But fruit and vegetable prices dropped 1.08 percent, offsetting the higher cost of energy, the agency said. While clothing prices slipped 1.1 percent, the cost of transport surged 3.2 percent from a year ago, it added.

In the January-July period, CPI rose 1.35 percent compared to the same period last year, the statistics agency said.

A measure of business costs advanced at the fastest pace in almost two years in July, DGBAS said. The wholesale price index jumped 9.1 percent in July from a year earlier, the biggest gain since October 2004, compared with June's 8.7 percent increase.

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