Tue, Apr 08, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Inflation climbs highest in a year

FOOD FRIGHT:Rising chicken, pork and produce costs drove the consumer price index up 1.61% on an annual basis, DGBAS said in its monthly report

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s inflation last month rose 1.61 percent annually, hitting its highest level for more than one year on food price hikes, while people felt the pinch with a price surge in household essentials, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

The consumer price index (CPI) last month was at its highest since February last year, DGBAS said in its monthly report.

Food sector prices jumped 5.6 percent, the biggest rise among major sectors, last month from a year ago, reaching its highest rising level since September 2012, according to the statistics agency’s survey.

Fruit and vegetable prices soared annually by 17.32 percent and 14.43 percent respectively last month, while aquatic products and eggs were up 8.84 percent and 4.86 percent during the same period, the DGBAS’ report showed.

Meanwhile, meat prices showed a 13.08 percent rise last month from a year ago, with chicken and pork climbing by 15.69 percent and 14.04 percent respectively, each marking a peak for more than five-and-a-half years, the report’s data showed.

The rise in food prices further raised the prices of household essentials and deepened the public’s pain from inflation.

Prices of 17 major household essentials, mainly food products and daily use items, monitored by the Executive Yuan, showed 6.26 percent growth last month from a year ago, with the average price of non-durable goods growing 4.74 percent year-on-year, statistics said.

However, DGBAS said average prices are relatively stable.

“Excluding the food sector, the headline inflation last month only showed 0.25 percent growth from a year earlier,” DGBAS Deputy Director Tsai Yu-tai (蔡鈺泰) told a press conference.

Growth in core CPI also showed mild growth of 0.97 percent last month from the previous year, supporting DGBAS’ views.

In addition, the decline in communication prices continued to help slow the pace of the headline inflation reading, DGBAS added.

The DGBAS report also showed the wholesale price index rose 0.15 percent year-on-year, slightly up 0.01 percent from a month earlier, mainly because of the mixed effect between the rising prices of electronic components and agricultural products, and the declining prices of chemical materials.

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