Taiwan: Consumer prices fall slightly in February
March 5, 2014
In February, consumer prices fell 0.40% over the previous month, which contrasted the 0.31% increase tallied in January. According to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), the monthly decrease reflected a sharp drop in prices for nursery and nursing care and for vegetables, which followed the rise in prices that was triggered by the Lunar New Year holidays the month before.
Consumer prices fell a meagre 0.1% over the same month last year in February. The print contrasted the 0.8% rise recorded in January. The result came as a surprise to the market, which had expected a 0.2% rise in consumer prices. Annual average inflation edged down from 0.8% in January to 0.5% in February and now rests at the lowest level since September 2010.
The core inflation index - which excludes volatile categories such as fresh food and energy - registered a 0.29% fall over the previous month (January: +0.69% month-on-month). Annual core consumer prices fell 0.2% in February, which was down from the 1.0% increase tallied in January and represented the lowest print since January 2010.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect inflation to average 1.5% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2015, the panel sees inflation increasing to 1.7%.