Thu, Nov 07, 2019 - Page 12 News List

CPI rises for 10th month in a row

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Consumer prices last month climbed for a 10th consecutive month as rising food prices more than offset declines in transportation and telecommunication costs, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

The 0.39 percent annual increase last month is slightly lower than a revised 0.43 percent rise in September and translated into a 0.35 percent decline after seasonal adjustments, the agency said in a monthly report.

“The figures suggested stable consumer prices, without the specter of deflation,” DGBAS Senior Executive Officer Chiou Shwu-chwen (邱淑純) told a media briefing in Taipei.

Food prices, which have about a 25 percent weighing in the index, increased 1.65 percent after average fruit prices rose 6.63 percent and vegetable prices gained 1.29 percent, the report said.

The rise in food prices would have been steeper, if egg prices had not fallen 16.05 percent, it added.

The category of miscellaneous items rose 1.17 percent, propelled mainly by more expensive gold and jewelry products, it said.

Education and recreation costs rose 0.95 percent due to upward adjustments in group tour fees, it said.

However, transportation and telecommunication prices declined 3.15 percent, oil prices fell 11.22 percent and telecommunications fees dropped 4.94 percent, the report said.

The core consumer price index (CPI), a more reliable long-term inflation tracker because it excludes volatile items, rose 0.66 percent from a year earlier, lending support to benign and stable inflation, the DGBAS said.

The wholesale price index (WPI), a measure of production costs, contracted 6.21 percent annually, deepening from a 4.7 percent decline one month earlier, the agency said.

Softening prices of minerals, chemicals, and oil and base metal products continued to weigh on the gauge, the report said, adding that export prices fell 5.52 percent from a year earlier in US dollar terms, while import prices shrank 6.64 percent.

For the first 10 months of this year, the CPI edged up 0.5 percent from a year earlier, while the WPI weakened 1.82 percent, the DGBAS said.

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