Tue, 18 Jan 2022

SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's headline inflation hit the highest in almost 10 years in November owing to higher prices for oil products and farm goods, statistical office data showed Thursday.

The consumer price index (CPI) stood at 109.41 in November, up 3.7 percent from a year ago, according to Statistics Korea.

It has marked the fastest increase since December 2011, hovering above 3 percent for the second consecutive month.

The consumer price inflation topped the central bank's mid-term inflation target of 2 percent for the eighth straight month, with 2.3 percent in April, 2.6 percent in May, 2.4 percent in June, 2.6 percent in July, 2.6 percent in August, 2.5 percent in September and 3.2 percent in October.

To tackle the escalating inflationary pressure, the Bank of Korea (BOK) raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 1 percent in late November, after lifting the key rate by 25 basis points three months earlier.

Price for industrial products, including oil products, advanced 5.5 percent in November from a year earlier, registering the highest gain in 10 years since November 2011.

Oil products price surged 35.5 percent, posting the highest in over 13 years since July 2008. Price for gasoline and diesel picked up 33.4 percent and 39.7 percent each.

The government cut the fuel tax by 20 percent since Nov. 20 in a bid to lower burden for energy cost.

Processed food price rose 3.5 percent in November from a year ago due to higher price for milk and bread.

Price for electricity, tap water and natural gas added 1.1 percent last month.

Price for agricultural, livestock and fishery products went up 7.6 percent in November on a yearly basis due to poor harvest, caused by a sharp fall in temperature in winter time.

Price for cucumber and lettuce almost doubled, and those for egg, imported beef and pork posted a double-digit growth.

Private services price advanced 3.0 percent in November from a year earlier, logging the highest since January 2012.

The services price went up as the government alleviated quarantine measures against the COVID-19 pandemic amid a higher vaccination rate.

Eating-out cost spiked 3.9 percent last month, while the services cost, except for eating-out, gained 2.3 percent on higher insurance premium.

Public services price added 0.6 percent in November, after jumping 5.4 percent in the previous month.

Housing rent, including Jeonse and monthly rent, was up 1.9 percent in November from a year earlier.

Jeonse is South Korea's unique contract between two households where a landlord grants the two-year residential right to a tenant who in turn lends a certain amount of money, or deposit, to the landlord.

Core consumer price, which excludes volatile agricultural and oil products, increased 2.3 percent in November on a yearly basis. It was down from 2.8 percent in the previous month.

The OECD-method core price, which excludes food and energy cost, was up 1.9 percent last month.

The livelihood items index, which measures price for daily necessities, went up 5.2 percent in the month. It has been the fastest growth since August 2011.

The fresh food index, which gauges price for fish, shellfish, fruit and vegetable, surged 6.3 percent in November on higher vegetable price.

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