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(LEAD) S. Korea's Sept. inflation rises by most in 6 months

Economy 09:08 October 06, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS details in last 6 paras)

SEJONG, Oct. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's consumer prices rose 1 percent on-year in September due to a rise in prices of agricultural goods, marking the sharpest gain in six months amid the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Tuesday.

The September tally accelerated from a 0.7 percent on-year gain in August, according to the data released by Statistics Korea.

The nation's inflation also climbed 0.7 percent on-month in September, the data showed.

Core inflation, which excludes agricultural and petroleum products, went up 0.9 percent from a year earlier.

Utility prices fell 3.5 percent on-year last month, while prices of agricultural, livestock and fisheries products jumped 13.5 percent on-year, the data showed.

(LEAD) S. Korea's Sept. inflation rises by most in 6 months - 1

In September, prices of vegetables and agricultural goods jumped to a near 10-year high in the wake of heavy rains.

Prices of fresh food soared 21.5 percent on-year in September, marking the sharpest gain since February 2011, according to the data.

Prices of petroleum products dropped 12 percent on-year, the data showed. Prices of livestock products rose 7.3 percent from a year earlier, and prices of processed foodstuffs gained 1.2 percent.

Accelerating inflation may give the Bank of Korea (BOK) less room to ease its monetary policy.

The BOK has sharply lowered its growth outlook for the nation's economy this year and froze its policy rate at a record low, as uncertainties heightened over spiking virus cases.

The BOK expected the nation's economy to contract 1.3 percent this year. The latest growth projection marked a sharp cut from the central bank's estimate in May of a 0.2 percent contraction.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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