Tue, May 07, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Inflation at 14-month low: DGBAS

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s annual headline inflation growth fell to its lowest level in 14 months last month, providing more evidence that inflationary pressure is slowing this year, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

However, the cost of food and non-durable goods increased at a faster pace than headline inflation last month, which may result in the public experiencing mounting financial pressure.

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.04 percent last month compared with the same period a year ago and the 1.39 percent posted in March, marking the second straight month of decline, the DGBAS said in its monthly report.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the reading dropped 0.09 percent last month from March, the report said.

Food prices jumped 2.36 percent last month from a year ago, marking the largest increase among the six main sectors surveyed by the DGBAS.

Vegetable prices rose 8.23 percent last month from a year earlier, while egg and meat prices increased 6.16 percent and 5.09 percent year-on-year respectively, the report’s data showed.

The average cost of non-durable goods also grew 2.88 percent year-on-year, DGBAS data showed, which may increase the public’s concerns about prices.

Amid fears about the H7N9 avian influenza virus, prices of local poultry posted 8.88 percent growth last month compared with the same period a year ago because of the long-term effects of tight product supply, the DGBAS said.

“However, the H7N9 factor may drag demand for chicken down [in the near future],” DGBAS deputy director Beatrice Tsai (蔡美娜) told a press conference.

In the first four months, the CPI showed a 1.62 percent rise from a year earlier, indicating mild and stable growth, DGBAS data showed.

The wholesale price index dropped 3.69 percent last month from the same month a year ago, falling for the 14th month in a row, the report said.

The DGBAS attributed the falling pace of the wholesale price index to the recent decline in the global prices of agricultural and industrial raw materials, which caused a year-on-year drop of 6.21 percent in import prices and indicated flat global demand for these commodities.

Capital Securities Corp (群益證券) said it expects annual growth in the nation’s headline inflation reading to continue to slow over the next few months, in lin with the declining pace in global raw material prices and the higher comparison base built in the second and third quarters of last year.

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