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S. Korea's consumer prices grow less than 1 pct for 3rd month in Dec.

Finance 08:04 December 31, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 31 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's consumer prices grew less than 1 percent for the third straight month in December, data showed Thursday, indicating low inflationary pressure in Asia's fourth-largest economy amid the new coronavirus outbreak.

The consumer price index rose 0.5 percent on-year in December, slowing from a 0.6 percent on-year gain the previous month, according to the data by Statistics Korea.

It marked the third consecutive month that the on-year growth rate of the consumer inflation stayed in the zero range.

Compared with a month earlier, the country's consumer inflation rose 0.2 percent last month, following a 0.1 percent on-month fall in November.

For the whole year, the consumer prices grew 0.5 percent on-year, marking the second straight year of the inflation growing less than 1 percent. In 2019, the consumer price index rose 0.4 percent.

The country's inflationary pressure has remained low this year due mainly to a decline in low oil prices and the fallout from the new coronavirus outbreak.

This year, prices of agricultural products shot up due to lingering impacts of typhoons and the rainy season in the summer. But low oil prices drove down prices of petrochemical products, helping inflationary pressure stabilize, according to the statistics agency.

This file photo, taken Dec. 12, 2020, shows people shopping for groceries at a traditional market in western Seoul. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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