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March inflation estimated to reach 3.2 %

March 31, 2024 - 10:09 By Yonhap
This photo taken on Tuesday shows a fresh food section of a supermarket in Seoul (Yonhap)

South Korea's consumer prices increase is estimated to stay above 3 percent for the second month in March on energy price and foreign exchange variables, market reports showed Sunday.

The country's March inflation outlooks estimated by eight securities firms, including NH Investment & Securities, Kyobo Securities, Meritz Securities and DB Financial Investment, averaged at 3.2 percent.

In January, inflation fell below 3 percent for the first time since July 2023, when the figure came to 2.4 percent, but high prices of fruits, farm produce and energy caused inflationary pressure to flare up again to 3.1 percent.

Most firms projected inflation to hit either 3.2 percent or 3.3 percent in March. Meritz Securities suggested inflation would fall to 2.9 percent, the only company to predict consumer price growth to fall below 3 percent.

The companies attributed rising international oil prices caused by geopolitical issues and the won's recent depreciation against the US dollar in the expected growth of inflation.

A government official said agricultural product prices have somewhat stabilized since the emergency price stabilization funds were actively injected after mid-March, but it may not be fully reflected in the upcoming release of March indicators.

"We are closely monitoring the situation surrounding inflation as it is expected to show a bumpy trajectory," the official added. (Yonhap)