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S. Korea to take active steps to curb inflation: official

This photo, taken on Wednesday, shows shelves of dairy products at a large discount store in Seoul. (Yonhap)
This photo, taken on Wednesday, shows shelves of dairy products at a large discount store in Seoul. (Yonhap)
South Korea plans to take active actions to stabilize inflation as the country's consumer prices are expected to grow at a faster pace in October than the previous month, a senior government official said Friday.

First Vice Finance Minister Lee Eog-weon said the consumer prices are forecast to grow at a higher rate than 2.5 percent in October due largely to last year's low base effect.

The government offered one-off state subsidies for mobile phone bills to specific age groups in October last year, which then helped prompt consumer inflation to rise 0.1 percent on-year.

"A more active response is needed (to stabilize inflation) in the fourth quarter as on top of the base effect, uncertainty remains high due to rising oil prices, global supply chain disruptions and global inflation risks," Lee said at a government policy meeting.

South Korea's consumer prices grew more than 2 percent for the sixth straight month in September, due to high prices of farm and oil products.

Recently, a hike in milk prices jacked up prices of dairy products, and processed food products, such as instant noodles and ready-to-eat rice, also climbed.

The finance ministry said it will make efforts to freeze the public utility and transportation rates within this year to help ease inflationary pressure.

The Korea Electric Power Corp., South Korea's state-run utility firm, plans to increase the electricity rate in the fourth quarter to reflect hikes in prices of raw materials. (Yonhap)

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