South Korean households spent 11 percent more on transportation on-year in the first quarter due mainly to higher fuel and energy prices, central bank data showed Monday.
Households’ transportation expenditures on a nominal basis reached 18.2 trillion won ($17 billion) in the January-March period, compared with 16.4 trillion won the previous year, according to the data by the Bank of Korea.
Transportation spending includes comprehensive costs incurred for fuel, vehicular, train and road use.
Such spending accounted for 11.9 percent out of the total household outlay in the first quarter, the largest portion in 15 years, the data showed.
The ratio of transportation costs to total household spending has been on the rise since 2009 when it fell to 10.2 percent, hit by the global financial turmoil.
Market experts said a jump in transportation spending was driven mainly by fuel price hikes such as gasoline or diesel amid an increase in vehicle sales.
Energy prices jumped 12.3 percent on-year in the first quarter, larger than a 4.5 percent on-year expansion in Korea’s consumer prices in the same period.
The global price of Dubai crude, the benchmark for the South Korean economy, also contributed to the transportation cost hike when it surpassed the $100 mark early this year, the central bank said.
South Korea is making efforts to curb inflation by unveiling a set of anti-inflationary steps and cracking down on price rigging as consumer prices jumped more than 4 percent for the seventh consecutive month in July.