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Producer prices grow for 5th month in May on high energy, service costs

June 23, 2022 - 09:22 By Yonhap

South Korea's producer prices grew for the fifth straight month in May, driven by rising prices of coal, oil and services, central bank data showed Thursday.

The producer price index, a major barometer of consumer inflation, stood at 119.24 in May, up 0.5 percent from a revised 118.59 a month earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

From a year earlier, the index jumped 9.7 percent, the 18th straight month of on-year rises.

Energy and raw material prices remained high due to protracted supply disruptions caused by the pandemic, which have been compounded by the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Prices of coal and oil-related products jump 5.9 percent on-month in May. Chemical product prices rose 0.7 percent over the same period.

In the service sector, prices rose with restaurant and lodging gaining 0.9 percent and transportation rising 1 percent.

A rise in producer prices could add to upward pressure on inflation as they could translate into prices of consumer goods.

In May, the country's consumer prices jumped 5.4 percent on-year, the fastest rise in almost 14 years.

Last month, the central bank hiked its key interest rate by a quarter percentage point to tame inflation. The rate hike marked the fifth of its kind since August last year. (Yonhap)