South Korea’s inflation in November accelerated as rent rates jumped from the dire shortage of housing despite the overall slump in consumption.
The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.6 percent in November from a year earlier, picking up from a 0.1 percent gain in the previous month, Statistics Korea said Wednesday. Against a month ago, inflation fell 0.1 percent.
Inflation has stayed mostly flat this year except for fresh food prices, which soared due to erratic climate conditions and other one-time factors.
Agricultural, livestock and fishery prices jumped 11.1 percent in November, extending the double-digit growth of previous months. Prices of agricultural good surged 13.2 percent, livestock 9.9 percent and fishery 6.1 percent.
Service charges gained 0.4 percent, reversing course from the previous month’s 0.8 percent fall. The October decline was largely due to state subsidies for mobile phone bills, which cut communication fees by 21.7 percent.
In November, dining and other service costs rose 1.3 percent. Housing rental costs also climbed 0.6 percent, the biggest rise since June 2018, as the government’s new measures to cool the heated housing market dried up new rent deals.
Industrial product prices fell 0.9 percent, in line with the previous month’s 1.0 percent decline. Utility prices were down 4.1 percent, similar to October levels.
The CPI minus food and energy factors, the standard by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), rose 0.6 percent, up from October’s 0.3 percent decline to be on par with previous months.
Core inflation, excluding volatile agricultural product and oil prices, gained 1.0 percent, rising by the fastest pace since July 2019.
By Kim Hyo-jin
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]