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S. Korea's consumer price growth staying below 1 pct in Nov.

South Korea's consumer price growth stayed below 1 percent in November, aided by falls in costs of farming products, but quickened slightly from the previous month, a government report showed Monday.

The country's consumer price index rose 0.9 percent on-year in November, accelerating from a 0.7 percent on-year gain tallied in the previous month, according to the report by Statistics Korea.

The October figure marked the slowest on-year consumer price growth since July 1999 when it increased 0.3 percent.

The core inflation, which excludes volatile oil and food prices, rose 1.8 percent on-year in November.

Prices of fresh food, including fruits and vegetables, fell 8.5 percent on-year in November. In particular, prices of vegetables plunged 14.8 percent from a year earlier, the report showed.

The "livelihood price" index, which measures the costs of key daily necessities, also inched up 0.2 percent from a year earlier and fell 0.2 percent from a month earlier.

The latest data comes amid cautious expectations that the country's economy is showing some signs of picking up following a prolonged slow growth trend.

The country's gross domestic product grew 1.1 percent in the third quarter from three months earlier. This marked the fastest quarterly growth since a 1.3 percent on-quarter advance in the first quarter of 2011.

The government earlier predicted that the country's consumer prices will grow 1.7 percent this year and the growth rate will rise to 2.8 percent next year.

The finance ministry said that the consumer prices gain will accelerate down the road on a rise in prices of agricultural goods and oil products.

"Cold waves are expected to lead a sharp rise in prices of farming goods, and rising oil prices will add pressure on inflation rate," the ministry said. (Yonhap News)

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Korea Herald daum