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South Korea's consumer inflation unchanged in October

South Korea's consumer inflation was unchanged in October compared with a year earlier as decreased prices of agricultural products offset increased utility prices, the statistics agency said Friday.

The consumer price index was unchanged in October from a year earlier as consumer demand remains weak amid an economic slowdown, Statistics Korea said in a statement.


The country's inflation has been extremely weak, staying far below the Bank of Korea's 2 percent target as companies and consumers tighten their spending.

Core inflation excluding agricultural and petroleum product prices rose 0.8 percent in October from a year earlier, the statement said.

Utility prices rose 1.5 percent on-year in October, respectively, while prices of agricultural, livestock and fisheries products fell 3.8 percent, it said.

"Declining agricultural products prices weighed on inflation, but the pace of decline is slowing down as recent typhoons and heavy rains in autumn affected the production of farm products,"

Lee Doo-won, director at the agency's price statistics division, said in a briefing.

On-month, the country's inflation rose 0.2 percent in October, helped by gains in agricultural prices and service charges, the agency said.

Consumer inflation rebounded from a month earlier. In September, it fell 0.4 percent from a year earlier, marking the first on-year drop in inflation since the country began compiling related data in 1965. (Yonhap)