Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - Page 12 News List

CPI edges down on falling prices of staple foods

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The consumer price index (CPI) last month declined 0.32 percent from a year earlier as vegetable, fruit and egg prices fell significantly, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said yesterday.

Food costs, which comprise 25 percent of the reading, dropped 3.86 percent, due mainly to cheaper vegetables, fruits and eggs, the agency said in a report.

Bad weather last year disrupted vegetable and fruit supplies, raising their costs sharply.

Egg prices slumped 12.86 percent as fipronil-related contamination reports scared away consumers, the agency said.

The inflationary gauge increased 0.38 percent after seasonal adjustments, while core CPI — a more reliable long-term indicator of consumer prices, because it excludes volatile items — increased 1.13 percent, the report said.

Both readings lent support to stable consumer prices, the agency said.

However, other expenses picked up, with miscellaneous items gaining 3.79 percent, healthcare prices rising 1.67 percent and transportation costs growing 1.06 percent, the report said.

Transportation expenses have received support from international oil prices, the agency said.

In the first 10 months of this year, the CPI edged up 0.59 percent, it added.

In related news, the wholesale price index, a measure of commercial production costs, last month advanced 1.58 percent from a year earlier, the agency said, citing import prices rising 6.4 percent in US dollar terms, while export prices increased 4.32 percent on the back of higher oil and raw material prices.

In the first nine months of the year, the wholesale price index edged up 0.89 percent, it said.

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