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Prices of daily necessities up in Jan.: report

  Prices of many daily necessities increased in January despite government efforts to fight rising inflation, a report by the state-run consumer protection watchdog showed Sunday.

   The report by the Korea Consumer Agency showed that of the 80 everyday consumer necessities monitored such as sugar, cereals and detergents, prices for 53 of the products, or 66.3 percent, went up in the cited month compared to December. Prices for 24 products fell while two remained unchanged.

   The number of products that rose vis-a-vis the previous month is much higher than the 31 and 37 items of which prices rose in November and December, respectively, the agency said.

   "The sharp rise last month came when Seoul moved to freeze various public service charges and beefed up efforts to deal with corporate price rigging," the agency said.

   The government is aiming to keep consumer prices at around 3 percent this year from 2.9 percent tallied for 2010, but most experts think the target may be hard to reach. In January, both consumer and producer prices shot up 4.1 percent and 6.2 percent each.

   Of items on the watch list, prices of cereal rose the highest with a 12.1 percent on-month increase, followed by such products as sugar, detergents, mayonnaise and powdered milk and coffee, the report showed.

(Yonhap News)

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