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Gov't to look into corporate 'shrinkflation' practices amid public outcry

Nov. 17, 2023 - 09:59 By Yonhap
This photo, provided by the finance ministry on Wednesday, shows First Vice Finance Minister Kim Byoung-hwan. (Yonhap)

The finance ministry said Friday that the government will look into cases of companies reducing the quantity of their products while freezing prices without consumers' knowledge due to mounting public complaints against such practices amid high inflation.

First Vice Finance Minister Kim Byoung-hwan announced the plan during a weekly vice-ministerial meeting on inflation, saying that those "shrinkflation" practices "are far from fair and the government takes the matter very seriously."

Recently, some food companies have been criticized for downsizing the size or quantity of their products while keeping prices unchanged without any notice, sparking public outcry over forcing consumers to bear the brunt of rising production expenses.

The government will carry out a survey of major daily items to find shrinkflation cases by the end of this month and set up a center to receive reports from consumers.

Based on the results, the government plans to come up with detailed measures to boost the people's right to know, Kim said.

Inflation has gathered pace in South Korea recently despite a gradual downtrend this year due to volatile global oil prices and rising prices of fresh food items amid unfavorable weather conditions.

Consumer prices, a key gauge of inflation, fell to a yearly low of 2.3 percent on-year in July but rose to 3.4 percent in August, 3.7 percent in September and 3.8 percent last month, according to government data.

The finance ministry has said that inflationary pressure is forecast to be eased at a slower pace and vowed all-out efforts to bring prices under control. (Yonhap)