Send to

S. Korea's consumer prices up 3.4% in Aug.

Sept. 5, 2023 - 09:26 By Yonhap
People shop for groceries at a supermarket in Seoul on Sunday. (Yonhap)

South Korea's on-year consumer price growth surpassed 3 percent in August after falling below the mark for two consecutive months amid higher prices of agricultural and manufactured goods, data showed Tuesday.

Consumer prices, a key gauge of inflation, rose 3.4 percent last month from a year earlier, compared with a 2.3 percent increase in July, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

It was the highest on-year rise since the 3.7 percent growth tallied in April.

In June, inflation fell below 3 percent for the first time since September 2021, rising 2.7 percent.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 3.3 percent on-year in August.

The prices of utility services continued to grow sharply, advancing 21.1 percent over the period, as the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. raised electricity bills to make up for its snowballing losses. South Korea depends heavily on imports for its energy needs.

Those of agricultural and fishery products moved up 2.7 percent following heavy rains, with the price tag of rice, a key staple food for Koreans, advancing 7.8 percent over the period.

The price of apples also soared 30.5 percent, while that of homegrown beef fell 6 percent.

Prices of industrial products gained 2.6 percent on-year in August, led by clothes.

Costs of diesel and gasoline, however, moved down 16.9 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.

The service sector gained 3.1 percent on-year in August due to higher insurance and house management costs.

Prices of daily necessities -- 144 items closely related to people's everyday lives, such as food, clothing and housing -- climbed 3.9 percent on-year, accelerating from a 1.8 percent rise a month earlier.

Last month, South Korea's central bank held its key interest rate steady for the fifth straight time at 3.5 percent as it weighs a slowdown in growth amid moderating inflation. (Yonhap)