Hong Kong: Inflation dips in March, trends higher through Q1
April 23, 2018
Inflation ticked down to 2.6% in March, easing from February’s 3.1% as the Lunar New Year holiday-pricing base effect wore away. Accounting for both January and February (January–February: 2.4%), however, inflation in March ticked higher as charges for package holiday tours rose ahead of the Easter holiday. For their part, food and housing prices rose at broadly similar rates as in February.
For the three-month period from January to March, the average of the month-on-month variations in consumer prices was 0.3% in seasonally-adjusted terms, unchanged from the 0.3% average increase seen in the three months up to February. Meanwhile, annual average inflation edged up from 1.8% in February to 2.0%.
A government spokesperson noted that:
“Looking ahead, external and local price pressures would rise somewhat over the course of 2018 if the above-trend economic growth continues. Yet, the upside risks to inflation should stay largely contained in the near term.”
Hong Kong Inflation Forecast
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect inflation to average 2.2% in 2018, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2019, the panel expects inflation to average 2.3%.
Author: Christopher Thomas, Economist