Yoo probe restarts from square one

S. Korea's consumer prices grow 1% on-year in Feb.

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Published : 2014-03-04 09:49
Updated : 2014-03-04 09:49

South Korea's consumer prices grew at a slower pace on-year in February, a government report showed Tuesday, indicating that prices remained subdued thanks in part to stabilized costs of farming goods.

The country's consumer price index rose 1 percent in February from a year earlier, a slight decline from the 1.1 percent gain tallied in January, according to the report by Statistics Korea. This marked the fourth straight month that the growth has stayed in the 1 percent range.

The core inflation, which excludes volatile oil and food prices, rose 1.7 percent on-year in February, unchanged from January when it also increased 1.7 percent from a year earlier, the report showed.

The agency attributed the slowing growth to stabilized prices of farming goods and oil products that helped keep prices of other consumption goods low. Falling costs of personal services also played a part in bringing down the overall price index, it added.

The report said the fresh food price index dropped 12.4 percent on-year in February following a 12.9 percent fall in January. Fresh vegetables and fruits fell 25.7 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.

Prices of oil-related products also declined with gasoline and diesel prices falling 3.6 percent and 3.8 percent on-year in February.

The "livelihood price" index, which measures the costs of key daily necessities, rose 0.4 percent on-year last month.

Food and non-alcoholic beverage products dropped 1.3 percent, while those of transportation and communications services declined 0.8 percent and 0.2 percent over the same period, the report showed.

Utility service prices, however, posted a marked growth. The costs of electricity, tap water and gas jumped 6 percent on-year in February.

Home rental prices also rose 2.5 percent in February, which was higher than the previous month's 2.4 percent gain, the report showed.

The latest price data come amid growing expectations that the country's economy is coming out of a prolonged slow growth.

The government earlier predicted that the economy will grow 3.9 percent in 2014 following last year's 2.8 percent and that consumer prices will rise 2.3 percent this year, accelerating from last year's 1.3 percent, the slowest growth in prices since 1999. (Yonhap)



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