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Consumer price growth hits over 9-year high in May

Economy 08:09 June 02, 2021

By Kim Soo-yeon

SEOUL, June 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's consumer prices grew at the fastest pace in more than nine years in May on higher prices of farm and oil products, data showed Wednesday, underscoring that inflationary pressure is building up amid an economic recovery from the pandemic-caused slump.

The consumer price index rose 2.6 percent on-year in May, faster than a 2.3 percent on-year gain the previous month, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

It marked the fastest on-year increase since April 2012, when the price index rose 2.6 percent.

Compared with a month earlier, the index grew 0.1 percent last month, compared with a 0.2 percent on-month rise in April.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and oil prices, rose 1.2 percent on-year in May.

The pickup in the inflation rate was attributable to last year's low base and tight supply of agricultural and livestock products, according to the statistics agency.

The country's inflationary pressure remained subdued last year amid the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But inflationary pressure is building up fast as the economic recovery accelerates.

Policymakers said the growth of consumer prices is expected to temporarily top the central bank's target of 2 percent, but annual inflation is not likely to surpass the inflation target.

This file photo, taken May 9, 2021, shows a citizen going grocery shopping at a discount mart in Seoul. (Yonhap)


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