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Producer prices up for 2nd month in Feb on high energy costs

Economy 06:00 March 23, 2022

SEOUL, March 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's producer prices grew for the second straight month in February, as high energy costs drove up the prices of factory-produced goods, central bank data showed Wednesday.

The producer price index, a major barometer of consumer inflation, stood at 114.82 in February, up 0.4 from a month earlier, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

It marked the second straight month that the index has risen following January's 1.1 percent on-month gain.

From a year earlier, the index jumped 8.4 percent, though it slowed from an 8.9 percent rise a month earlier. It was still the 15th consecutive month of an on-year increase.

The ascent is attributed to high coal and oil product costs, which jumped 8.1 percent from a month earlier.

High energy costs drove up factory product prices, which also gained 1.1 percent from January, the data showed.

Farming, forestry and fishery products, however, saw their prices decline 5.1 percent over the cited period.

The price increase came as South Korea is grappling with rising inflation pressure driven by global supply snarls and growing demand from the recovery of pandemic-affected spending.

The Ukraine-Russia conflict is also feared to further increase crude oil and commodity prices, raising the possibility of inflation running higher.

In January, the BOK raised its key interest rate by a quarter percentage point, the third rate hike since August, to rein in inflation. The central bank has hinted at further increasing borrowing costs in the months to come.

Producer prices up for 2nd month in Feb on high energy costs - 1

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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