Hong Kong: Inflation jumps to highest level in more than two years
April 21, 2011
In March, consumer prices rose 0.3% over the previous month, well below the 1.1% rise recorded in February. The increase was driven by higher prices for alcoholic drinks and tobacco, which increased 17.1% over the previous month due to the increase in tobacco duty. Lower prices for food and miscellaneous services mitigated the impact of the tax rise. In spite of the subdued monthly price increase, annual inflation jumped from 3.7% in February to 4.6% in March, which exceeded market analyst expectations of 4.2% and marked the fastest pace since August 2008. As a result, annual average inflation rose from 2.7% in February to 2.9%. A government spokesman confirmed that consumer prices are subject to upward pressures in the near term, due to rising food prices and private residential rentals. The government sees inflation averaging 4.5% this year.