Wed, Jul 09, 2014 - Page 13 News List

CPI surged last month: DGBAS report

RATE WEIGHT:Higher electricity costs and expensive restaurant trips pushed the CPI up 1.64 percent, as inflationary pressure grew beyond the headline reading

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.64 percent last month from a year ago, up from the 1.62 percent year-on-year increase recorded in May, due mainly to rising household electricity costs and dining-out prices, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

However, non-durable goods continued to see their costs increase at a faster pace than the headline inflation reading, further exacerbating inflationary pressure.

Food prices jumped 3.78 percent last month from a year earlier — the biggest increase among the seven major categories monitored by the DGBAS — as the prices of fruit, pork, eggs and seafood surged, DGBAS said in its monthly report.

Prices for eating out also raced up 3.96 percent last month from a year earlier, marking its highest level in nearly five-and-a-half years and posting year-on-year growth of above 3 percent for the third month, an indication that restaurants have transferred their rising materials and energy costs on to consumers, the report said.

In addition, the government’s move to raise electricity rates beginning in October last year has gradually shown its effect on inflation. Overall electricity prices climbed 5.69 percent last month over the same period last year, the report’s data showed.

The core CPI, which excludes vegetables, fruit and energy prices, climbed 1.48 percent last month from a year earlier — its highest level in 14 months — DGBAS data showed.

However, “the nation’s rising trend in consumer prices generally remains stable,” DGBAS Deputy Director Tsai Yu-tai (蔡鈺泰) said.

Tsai added the public may feel heavier cost pressure than suggested by the mild pace of headline inflation increases, as prices of non-durable goods rose at a faster pace of 3.01 percent last month from a year ago.

Prices for goods which people have to purchase at least once a month and a quarter also showed year-on-year increase of 2.13 percent and 2.31 percent respectively, the DGBAS’ report said.

Meanwhile, households with lower income saw their CPI surge 1.9 percent last month from the previous year, higher than the pace of increase for households with middle or higher incomes, as food prices accounted for greater expenditure for low-income families, Tsai added.

The headline inflation reading rose 1.21 percent in the first six months of the year, data showed.

The DGBAS report also showed that the wholesale price index (WPI) increased 0.81 percent last month from the same month a year ago, posting a year-on-year growth for the third straight month, mainly driven by rising prices of global crude oil, electricity and basic metals.

For the first six months of the year, the WPI rose 0.39 percent from a year earlier, statistics showed.

Following the rebound in WPI, Capital Investment Management Corp (群益投顧) said the nation’s headline inflation may further deteriorate this quarter on a lower comparison basis recorded in the same period last year, with a forecast that CPI may rise above 2 percent during the July-to-September period from a year earlier.

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