Korea: Inflation eases in January
January 31, 2012
In January, consumer prices rose 0.48% over the previous month, which was above the 0.38% increase recorded in December but well below the strong 1.19% increase seen in January 2011. As a result, annual inflation fell from 4.2% in December to 3.4% in January, undershooting market expectations of 3.6%, and marking the lowest level since April 2011. The core inflation index, which excludes more volatile items such as fresh food and energy, rose 0.29% over the previous month, which was below the 0.38% increase observed in December. Annual core inflation edged down from 3.6% in December to 3.2% in January. According to the Economic Outlook for 2012, the Central Bank sees inflation ending 2012 at 3.3%, down from a previously forecasted 3.4% rate.