Wed, Jun 06, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Consumer prices rose 1.64% in May

Staff writer with CNA

The consumer price index (CPI) last month rose 1.64 percent from a year earlier due mainly to a spike in tobacco and fuel prices, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

The growth represented a slowdown from the 2 percent increase in April, the DGBAS report said.

On a monthly basis, the CPI shed 0.25 percent and was down by 0.26 percent after seasonal adjustments, it said.

After excluding volatile items such as fruit, vegetables and energy, the core CPI rose only 0.95 percent from a year earlier, indicating that inflation was benign, it said.

The price of tobacco last month rose 36.10 percent from a year earlier due to a tax increase, while fuel prices, boosted by rising international crude oil prices, increased 19.97 percent year-on-year, the report said.

Food prices last month rose 1.79 percent from a year earlier, with the price of eggs, cooking oil and milk products rising 8.26 percent, 3.95 percent and 2.97 percent respectively, it added.

A decline of 9.25 percent in fruit prices and a 2.21 percent fall in vegetable prices prevented food prices from rising even higher, the DGBAS said.

The cost for a basket of 17 government-monitored household necessities — including rice, pork, bread, eggs, sugar, cooking oil, shampoo and toilet paper — last month rose 3.15 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 2.93 percent rise in April, it said.

The wholesale price index (WPI), a measure of commercial costs, rose 5.61 percent from a year earlier, reflecting price increases in oil, coal, base metals, chemical goods and drugs, the agency said.

The local import price index rose 8.69 percent from a year earlier in New Taiwan dollar terms and 9.71 percent in US dollar terms, the DGBAS said.

Meanwhile, the export price index added 3.71 percent in NT dollars and rose 4.69 percent in US dollars, indicating favorable export conditions, the report said.

In the first five months of this year, the CPI rose 1.66 percent from a year earlier with the core CPI gaining 1.40 percent and the WPI rising 1.53 percent, it added.

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