Korea: Inflation decelerates in January to the slowest rate in 17 months
February 1, 2018
Consumer prices rose 0.4% in January from the previous month. The result, which followed the 0.3% month-on-month increase recorded in December, was primarily caused by higher prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages, healthcare and transport. Market analysts were expecting a larger 0.7% month-on-month increase in January.
Despite an increase in the minimum wage rate, which came into effect on 1 January, inflation decelerated to 1.0% in January (December: 1.5%). This was the lowest rate since August 2016 and far from the Bank of Korea’s 2.0% target rate. Market analysts were expecting a higher inflation rate of 1.3% in January.
The core inflation rate, which excludes fresh food and energy prices, decelerated to 1.1% in January, down from December’s 1.5%. Annual average inflation held steady at 1.9% in January.
Author: Edward Gardner, Economist