Korea Inflation April 2019


Korea: Inflation inches up in April

May 2, 2019

Consumer prices rose 0.4% in month-on-month terms in April, contrasting the 0.2% fall registered in March. The increase was largely due to a sharp rise in transport costs and higher prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages, and recreation and culture.

Inflation ticked up to 0.6% in April from March’s over two-and-a-half-year low of 0.4%, defying market expectations of a steady reading. Nevertheless, inflation remains well below the Bank of Korea’s 2.0% target. Core inflation, which excludes fresh food and energy prices, edged up to 0.9% in April from 0.8% in March. Meanwhile, annual average was stable at 1.3%.

Inflationary pressures are expected to pick up only modestly in the quarters ahead, supported by the expiration of a temporary fuel tax cut and a gradual rise in global oil prices. Nevertheless, lower housing rental prices, sluggish economic momentum and soft employment growth will likely put downward pressure on prices.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect inflation to average 1.2% in 2019, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. In 2020, the panel expects inflation to average 1.7%.

Author:, Economist

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Korea Inflation Chart

Korea Inflation April 2019

Note: Month-on-month and year-on-year changes of consumer price index in %.
Source: National Statistics Office of Korea (KOSTAT)

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