Consumer prices last month rose 2.84 percent from a year earlier to the highest in nearly nine years with almost every consumption category becoming more expensive amid soaring fuel and food prices, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
It is the sixth time this year that the inflationary gauge has exceeded the 2 percent alarm, but the agency reiterated that consumer prices remained stable and would subside this month.
“Consumer prices would likely taper off this month after the government lowered tariffs on imported beef, wheat, cement and other items,” DGBAS official Tsao Chih-hung (曹志弘) said.
Rising cases of infection with the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 abroad have cast a shadow over the global economy and put a damper on international oil prices, Tsao said.
Transportation prices spiked 7.1 percent on the back of a 35.8 percent increase in international fuel prices and a 13.38 percent upswing in domestic airfares, the agency said in a report.
Food costs climbed 4.68 percent as bad weather pushed up fruit and vegetable prices by 24.74 and 12.91 percent respectively, with prices for eggs rising 9.53 percent and meat 5.16 percent, the report said.
Dining increased 1.65 percent, the steepest in 31 months, as fast-food chains and restaurants announced price hikes to mitigate rising costs, it said.
After seasonal adjustments, the CPI inched up 0.56 percent last month.
Core CPI, a more reliable long-term price tracker, as it excludes volatile items, grew 1.49 percent, affirming the absence of inflation, Tsao said.
Living costs increased 1.6 percent owing to rent hikes and higher home repair costs, the agency said.
Entertainment costs advanced 1.55 percent, as travel agencies raised charges amid a recovery in domestic tourism, it said.
The wholesale price index (WPI), a measure of production costs, jumped 14.9 percent, easing from a 15.1 percent pickup in October, the DGBAS said.
For the first 11 months of this year, CPI grew 1.91 percent, while WPI increased 9.13 percent, it said.
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