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(3rd LD) S. Korea's consumer price growth hits 32-month low in March

All News 16:03 April 02, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES with quarterly figure)

SEJONG, April 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in 32 months in March on a drop in petrochemical products and a stabilization of prices of vegetables, government data showed Tuesday.

The consumer price index rose 0.4 percent last month from a year earlier, marking the third straight month that the consumer price index has increased by below 1 percent on-year, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

The March figure marks the lowest increase since the country's consumer prices also rose by 0.4 percent in July 2016. The record low for the index was 0.2 percent growth in February 1999.

The index for the first quarter, however, increased by a record low of 0.5 percent. The government began to compile quarterly data in 1965.

(3rd LD) S. Korea's consumer price growth hits 32-month low in March - 1

"The biggest reason behind lower consumer prices is a decline in petrochemical products amid low oil prices," said Kim Yun-sung, director at the agency's price statistics division.

Prices of petrochemical products fell a sharp 9.6 percent in March from a year earlier while prices of vegetables dropped 12.9 percent in the same period as their output increased due to good weather, government data showed Tuesday.

Utility prices rose 1.3 percent on-year last month, while prices of industrial goods fell 0.7 percent, the statistics agency said.

The statistical agency also said prices of service charges increased 1.1 percent.

This graphic shows the trend of consumer prices. (Yonhap)


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