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(2nd LD) S. Korea's consumer prices rise 1.5 pct in Dec.

All News 08:53 December 29, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS more details in last 2 paras)

SEJONG, Dec. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's consumer prices growth accelerated in December on a rise in prices of industrial goods and financial services, government data showed Friday.

The country's consumer price index climbed 1.5 percent this month from a year earlier, compared with the previous month's 1.3 percent on-year gain, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

From a month earlier, the index also moved up 0.3 percent in December.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile oil and food prices this month, grew 1.5 percent compared with last year.

The statistics office said the monthly rise is largely led by high prices of oil and related goods, which offset a decline in prices of fresh foodstuffs, including vegetables.

For all of 2017, consumer prices grew 1.9 percent from a year earlier, sharply up from a 1 percent on-year rise in 2016, marking the steepest gain in five years after 2012, when the comparable figure was 2.2 percent.

Core inflation gained 1.5 percent in 2017, the slowest pace in 18 years.

This year's annual inflation is close to the Bank of Korea's midterm inflation target of 2 percent for next year. South Korea's consumer prices rose 1 percent for 2016 and 0.7 percent for 2015.

The finance ministry expects the country's inflation to rise 1.7 percent in the coming year.

Next year, the South Korean economy is expected to expand 3 percent following this year's estimated 3.2 percent growth.

(2nd LD) S. Korea's consumer prices rise 1.5 pct in Dec. - 1

sam@yna.co.kr
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