Consumer prices up 0.35% in November

2017/12/05 18:39:16 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Consumer prices up 0.35% in November

Taipei, Dec. 5 (CNA) Consumer prices rose 0.35 percent in November from a year earlier as a fall in food prices offset an increase in prices of items such as fuel, medical care and cigarettes, according to government statistics released Tuesday.

On a month-on-month basis, the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.24 percent, and after seasonal adjustments, the CPI also gained 0.71 percent, according to the data compiled by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

In November, food prices fell 2.68 percent from a year earlier, with prices of vegetables and fruit down 21.69 percent and 11.94 percent, respectively, in reflection of a relatively high comparison base over the same period of last year, the DGBAS said.

Egg prices also fell 12.05 percent because of a fipronil-tainted egg scare, while prices of fishery items, dairy products, meat and grains rose 4.72 percent, 3.15 percent, 2.64 percent and 2.52 percent, respectively, year-on-year, the DGBAS added.

Cigarette prices rose 27.27 percent from a year earlier in November after a tax hike on tobacco, and the growth was highest since December 2002, when cigarette prices gained 30.88 percent.

Mei Chia-yuan (梅家瑗), deputy director of the DGBAS statistics department, said the growth in cigarette prices pushed up the core CPI, which excludes fruit, vegetables and energy, to a high of 1.30 percent since January, when the core CPI index grew 1.64 percent from a year earlier.

In November, fuel costs gained 13.49 percent from a year earlier on the back of higher international crude oil prices, while medical care expenses also rose 1.52 percent due to higher national insurance spending.

Based on the latest CPI data, a household with monthly spending of NT$60,000 (US$2,000) spent NT$544 less on vegetables and NT$230 less on fruit from a year earlier in November, the DGBAS said. The cost of a basket of 17 government-monitored household necessities, including rice, pork, bread, eggs, sugar, cooking oil, shampoo and toilet paper, rose 2.08 percent from a year earlier in November, up from a 2.20 percent year-on-year rise in October, according to the DGBAS.

In November, the wholesale price index (WPI) rose 1.57 percent from a year earlier on the back of higher prices in base metal, crude oil and chemical items, the DGBAS said.

In the month, the local import price index in Taiwan dollar terms rose 2.53 percent from a year earlier and gained 8.10 percent in U.S. dollar terms, while the export price index fell 0.79 percent in Taiwan dollars, but rose 4.64 percent in U.S. dollars, the DGBAS said.

In the first 11 months of this year, Taiwan's CPI grew 0.57 percent from a year earlier, with core CPI up 0.99 percent and the WPI up 0.95 percent, the DGBAS added.

(By Chen Cheng-wei and Frances Huang)

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