South Korea's consumer prices continued their sharp growth in September due to high-flying food prices, government data showed Thursday.
The country's consumer price index advanced 2.1 percent this month from a year earlier, decelerating from a more than five-year high of 2.6 percent tallied in the previous month, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
The index has stayed over the 2 percent level for three months in a row.
Starting a month earlier, the index went up 0.1 percent in September.
Core inflation, which excludes volatile oil and food prices, also increased 1.4 percent on-year.
The statistics office said the weather conditions in the summer season weighed heavily on the supply of fresh vegetables and fruits.
Prices of agricultural and marine products rose 4.8 percent on-year in September, with those of fresh fruits soaring 21.5 percent on-year in the same period.
In particular, prices of cuttlefish soared 63.7 percent and those of tomatoes surged 35.9 percent in September.
Prices of vegetables, on the other hand, fell 4.2 percent this month from a year earlier, due to a base effect.
Moreover, petroleum prices jumped 6.1 percent on-year in September to lend support to the inflation hike in line with soaring crude prices in recent months.
"Prices of nearly all items except for vegetables gained ground this month from a year earlier," said Kim Yun-sung, director of the price statistics division at the statistical bureau. "Food prices fluctuated widely due to the variable summer climate, while international oil prices pushed up the gas prices at the pump." (Yonhap)