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S. Korea's producer prices dip in April on low global oil prices

Industry 06:00 May 21, 2020

SEOUL, May 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's producer prices continued to drop from a month earlier in April largely due to a sharp decline in global oil prices, central bank data showed Thursday.

The producer price index for all commodities and services came to 102.08 last month, down 0.7 percent from the revised 102.82 the month before, according to preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The reading marks the third consecutive month of decline since February. Producer prices serve as a key barometer of future inflation.

S. Korea's producer prices dip in April on low global oil prices - 1

South Korea's consumer prices had been on a steady rise since the start of the year, adding 1 percent from a year earlier in March and 1.1 percent in February.

In April, however, consumer prices rose 0.1 percent, marking the slowest on-year growth in six months, apparently part of the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

South Korea reported its first COVID-19 case on Jan. 20. Its new daily infections peaked at around 900 in late February before slowing to around 10 or less in recent weeks. However, the number of new cases has spiked recently due to a cluster of infections linked to nightspots in Itaewon.

The fall in producer prices last month, however, was mainly attributed to low global oil prices.

"In April, the producer price index dropped 0.7 percent from the previous month due to a cut in the price of industrial goods caused by a fall in global oil prices," the BOK said.

The price index for manufactured goods plunged 1.5 percent on-month to 98.37 in the month, while the index of farmed products, including fisheries, gained 0.2 percent to 119.71.

The price index for coal and petroleum products plunged 22.6 percent to 68.36.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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