Consumer prices rise over 3 pct for 2nd month in March

Apr 03, 2024, 10:09 am

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AsiaToday reporter Hong Sun-mi

South Korea’s consumer price stayed above 3 percent for the second consecutive month on record prices of fruits and rising global oil prices. The government plans to make all-out-efforts to stabilize prices for farm goods.

Consumer price index stood at 113.94 in March, up 3.1 percent from a year earlier. The consumer price growth rate continued to be above 3 percent for the second straight month following February with 3.2percent.

In particular, agricultural products jumped 20.5 percent, leading the overall inflation. This is the second consecutive month of increase of over 30 percent following the previous month with 20.9 percent of increase. As a result, prices of agricultural, livestock and fishery products rose 11.7 percent on-year last month, the highest rise since April 2021, when the prices rose 13.2 percent.

Of major items, prices of apples surged 88.2 percent, the highest increase since the agency began compiling relevant data in 1980. Prices of pears and tangerines also rose 87.8 percent and 68,4 percent, respectively. Prices of tomatoes and green onions also soared 36.1 percent and 23.4 percent, respectively. 

Prices of petroleum products also rose 1.2 percent on-year, and it marked the first time since January 2023 that petroleum products reported an on-year price hike. Oil prices lowered overall prices by 0.06 percentage points in February, but increased prices by 0.05 percentage points last month.

President Yoon Suk-yeol said in his Cabinet meeting that he is “heavy-hearted because the burden on the citizens has not been alleviated” and pledged to expand the government’s support on discount events and fruit imports to small stores and traditional markets. Early last month, the government and the ruling People Power Party agreed to inject 150 billion won ($111 million) of state funds to stabilize the prices of agricultural products.

Yoon said the government “will inject emergency stabilization funds for agricultural and livestock products indefinitely and without limit.”

#consumer price #March #apples #petroleum #fruit 
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