Consumer prices up 1.72% in September

2018/10/05 18:45:04 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 5 (CNA) Taiwan's consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.72 percent from a year earlier in September, largely because of higher tobacco, fuel and egg prices and more expensive airline tickets, government statistics showed Friday.

Data released by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) showed that the September CPI also rose 0.14 percent from a month earlier after seasonal adjustments.

The core CPI, which excludes fruit, vegetables and energy, rose 1.20 percent from a year earlier in September, leading DGBAS specialist Hsu Chien-chung (徐健中) to conclude that consumer prices remained stable.

In the first nine months of the year, the CPI rose 1.66 percent from a year earlier, while the core CPI was up 1.40 percent.

Inflation is on pace to be the highest since 2012, when the CPI rose 1.93 percent. Since then, inflation has ranged from a low of minus 0.30 percent (in 2015) to a high of 1.39 percent (in 2016).

In September, the prices of miscellaneous items such as tobacco gained 5.08 percent, and was one of the main categories pushing up the CPI. Cigarette prices were up 26.83 percent in September from a year earlier, the data showed.

Transportation and communications expenses rose 2.85 percent from a year earlier in September, as fuel prices went up 19.28 percent and airline ticket prices rose 3.24 percent at a time of rising international crude oil prices, the data showed.

Food prices were up 2.46 percent from a year earlier in September, paced by a 32.26 percent jump in egg prices because of a low base of comparison last year when egg prices plunged due to fears eggs had been contaminated by the insecticide fipronil, the DGBAS said.

Hsu said egg prices also got a boost from a lower supply caused by flooding in September and rising demand from school restaurants.

Prices of vegetables and dairy products rose 9.92 percent and 2.89 percent, respectively, from a year earlier in September, while dining-out expenses also grew 2.03 percent, the DGBAS added.

The cost of a basket of 17 government-monitored household necessities, including rice, pork, bread, eggs, sugar, cooking oil, shampoo and toilet paper, rose 4.10 percent in September from a year earlier, the biggest rise for any month this year.

Prices for that basket of goods were up 3.33 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2018, and also appear on course to eclipse the 0.63 percent increase in 2016 and 1.79 percent increase in 2017 for those 17 commodities, DGBAS data showed.

The wholesale price index (WPI) rose 6.55 percent in September from a year earlier, reflecting increases in the prices of oil, coal, chemical goods, drugs and base metals, the DGBAS said.

It said the import price index climbed 10.01 percent in September from a year earlier in Taiwan dollar terms and 7.82 percent in U.S. dollar terms, while the export price index gained 4.25 percent in Taiwan dollar terms and 2.20 percent in U.S. dollar terms.

The WPI was up 3.85 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of the year, the DGBAS data showed.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang)
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