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(LEAD) Consumer price growth stays below 1 pct for 5th month

All Headlines 08:39 June 04, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES with comments and details in paras 2-7; ADDS photo)

SEJONG, June 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's consumer price growth stayed below the 1 percent threshold for the fifth consecutive month in May due mainly to expanded social welfare schemes that helped rein in a rise in service charges, government data showed Tuesday.

Consumer prices rose 0.7 percent in May from a year earlier, marking the lowest for any May since 2015, when the corresponding figure stood at 0.6 percent, according to Statistics Korea.

Kim Yun-sung, director at the agency's price statistics division, said increased welfare and free education, as well as the decline in prices of petroleum products are behind lower consumer prices.

Core inflation -- which excludes agricultural and petroleum products -- rose 0.8 percent from a year earlier. From a month earlier, the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent.

Prices of petroleum products fell 1.7 percent in May from a year earlier, while prices of agricultural, livestock and fishery products rose 1.2 percent in the same period, according to the data.

Utility prices rose 1.3 percent on-year last month, while prices of industrial goods edged up 0.3 percent, Statistics Korea said.

The agency also said prices of service charges increased 0.8 percent.

(LEAD) Consumer price growth stays below 1 pct for 5th month - 1

entropy@yna.co.kr
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