The Korea Herald


Public service rates up despite anti-inflation efforts

By 황장진

Published : Feb. 7, 2011 - 18:51

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Prices of public services in Korea grew at the fastest pace in more than four years in January, adding to burdens in the daily lives of low- and mid-income people, data showed Monday.

According to the data offered by the finance ministry and the statistics agency, the average prices of the nation’s 32 major public services, including heating gas and tap water, rose 0.9 percent last month from December.

This marked the largest increase since September 2006 when the corresponding prices rose 1.3 percent.

Gas prices jumped 4.7 percent nationwide while tap water prices rose 0.9 percent. Medical service prices also rose sharply, with costs for oriental medical treatment jumping 4.6 percent from a month earlier.

The rise came despite the government’s intensifying drive to ease growing inflationary pressure, driven by increasing food and commodity prices.

The government said earlier that it would freeze prices of college tuitions and major public services, including electricity, in the first half as part of its anti-inflation efforts.

According to earlier government data, the nation’s consumer prices grew 4.1 percent last month, up from 3.5 percent in December. The spike was due mostly to rising agricultural and energy-related product costs. 

(Yonhap News)