S. Korea to face 'grave' inflation risk for time being: official
Published : May 20, 2022 - 10:01
Updated : May 20, 2022 - 10:01
Fruit and vegetables are displayed on the shelves at a large discount chain in Seoul, on May 3. (Yonhap)

South Korea is expected to face a "grave" risk from rising inflation for the time being, as the recovery of consumption will further add price pressure amid high energy costs, a senior government official said Friday.

The government plans to beef up its monitoring of key items, including cooking oil and petroleum products, in a bid to ease the burden from elevated inflation, according to First Vice Finance Minister Bang Ki-sun.

"Price situations facing the South Korean economy are not good," Bang said at the government's first vice ministerial meeting on inflation.

South Korea's inflation has been under upward pressure due to a hike in fuel prices and a rebound in demand from the pandemic.

Consumer prices spiked 4.8 percent on-year in April, the fastest increase in more than 13 years. They followed a 4.1 percent rise in March.

As the lifting of COVID-19 social distancing rules in April is expected to spur private spending, it could exert upward pressure on prices of dining out and personal services, experts said.

The Korea Development Institute, a state-run think tank, revised its 2022 inflation outlook to 4.2 percent from its earlier estimate of 1.7 percent. (Yonhap)