Consumer prices rise 0.20% in January

2019/02/12 19:41:57 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 12 (CNA) Consumer prices rose 0.20 percent from a year earlier in January, on the back of an increase in the price of eggs, fruit and dairy products, along with higher medical expenses, government statistics showed Tuesday.

The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.20 percent from a year earlier in January after a 0.06 percent year-on-year decline in December.

The December decline was the first year-on-year drop since October 2017, when it fell 0.33 percent from a year earlier.

Core CPI, which excludes fruit, vegetables and energy, rose 0.53 percent from a year earlier in January, the DGBAS added.

The DGBAS said the latest CPI data indicates local consumer price growth remains stable, and reiterated there are no worries about deflation despite the December data.

Month-on-month the January CPI fell 0.09 percent and after seasonal adjustment was also down 0.14 percent, the DGBAS said.

In January, food prices rose 0.85 percent from a year earlier with the price of eggs, dairy products and fruit up 20.75 percent, 3.31 percent and 3.02 percent, respectively, data compiled by the DGBAS indicated.

However, vegetable prices fell 17.79 percent from a year earlier in January, which capped the overall growth of food prices in the month, according to the DGBAS.

The DGBAS said medical expenses grew 0.89 percent from a year earlier in January, a reflection of higher hospital registration fees and rising drug prices, while the cost of transportation and communications fell 1.58 percent largely on the back of falling international crude oil prices.

The cost of a basket of 17 government-monitored household necessities, including rice, pork, bread, eggs, sugar, cooking oil, shampoo and toilet paper, rose 2.78 percent from a year earlier in January, following a 3.24 percent increase in December.

The wholesale price index (WPI) rose 0.75 percent from a year earlier in January, largely reflecting an increase in fuel prices, the DGBAS said.

The import price index climbed 2.30 percent from a year earlier in January in Taiwan dollar terms but fell 2.35 percent in U.S. dollar terms, while the export price index gained 0.67 percent in Taiwan dollars but fell 3.91 percent in U.S. dollars, it added.

(By Liu Li-rung and Frances Huang)
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