Food, nondurables put pressure on consumer prices

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Nov 06, 2013 - Page 13

Annual growth of the consumer price index (CPI) slowed last month from September, but the public will feel mounting price pressure as the cost of food and nondurable goods increased at a faster pace, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

The headline inflation reading rose 0.64 percent last month compared with a year ago, following a 0.83 percent year-on-year increase in September, the DGBAS said in its latest monthly report.

DGBAS Deputy Director Tsai Yu-tai (蔡鈺泰) said the supply of vegetables recovered last month and the summer electricity rates finished at the end of September, which helped ease the year-on-year pace of CPI growth last month.

However, food prices still marked the highest year-on-year rise among the five major sectors surveyed by DGBAS.

Food prices jumped 2.92 percent last month from a year ago, with vegetable prices showing a 26.25 percent year-on-year growth last month, the report said.

Meanwhile, the average price of nondurable goods — mainly daily use goods — grew 2.43 percent last month from a year earlier, also exhibiting a faster rising pace than the headline inflation reading, the report’s data showed.

“Goods with higher public price sensitivity saw their costs rise at a faster level [last month],” Tsai told a press conference.

In the first 10 months of this year, CPI rose 0.84 percent from a year earlier, statistics showed.

Although the government’s move to raise electricity rates may increase the pressure on consumer prices this quarter, Capital Securities Corp (群益證券) said the nation’s inflation may show mild growth during the period, citing the recent sluggish trend in global raw material prices.

The wholesale price index (WPI) extended its trend of year-on-year contractions last month, falling 1.57 percent from the same period last year, its 20th straight month of decline, DGBAS said. WPI dropped 2.77 percent in the first 10 months of this year.

However, the headline inflation reading has surged by more than 10 percent since 2006, indicating that more households will be eligible for the alternative minimum tax, as well as the inheritance tax deduction, and have greater tax reductions and exemptions next year.