Consumer prices up 0.59% in November - Focus Taiwan

Consumer prices up 0.59% in November

Taipei, Dec. 5 (CNA) Consumer prices increased by more than half a percent in November, due mainly to an increase in the price of fruit, vegetables, cosmetics, sanitation and personal items, medical costs and tourism expenses, the country's statistics bureau reported Thursday.

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.59 percent in November year-on-year after rising 0.39 percent in October, according to Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) figures.

On a monthly basis, the CPI dropped 0.41 percent, and after seasonal adjustments, the figure fell 0.09 percent.

Core CPI, which excludes fruit, vegetables and energy, rose 0.55 percent in November from a year earlier, the DGBAS figures showed.

In the first 11 months of this year, the CPI was up 0.51 percent from a year earlier, while core CPI rose 0.49 percent year-on-year, the figures showed.

The DGBAS said consumer prices in Taiwan showed mild and stable growth in November and there are no deflationary concerns.

In November, food prices were up 1.86 percent year-on-year as the price of vegetables and fruit rose 9.65 percent and 7.20 percent, respectively, while egg prices fell 14.42 percent, offsetting the increase in food prices, according to DGBAS figures.

Education and entertainment costs rose 1.22 percent due to higher domestic and foreign tourism costs, while medical expenses increased by 1.07 percent because of a hike in hospital registration and other fees, the DGBAS said.

Transportation and communications costs fell 2.14 percent due to a 5.50 percent drop in fuel prices and a 5.11 percent decline in communication costs, according to the DGBAS.

The cost of a basket of 17 government-monitored household necessities, including rice, pork, bread, eggs, sugar, cooking oil, shampoo and toilet paper, fell 0.78 percent in November from a year earlier, after a 0.41 percent drop in October, the DGBAS said.

The wholesale price index (WPI) declined 5.04 percent, largely reflecting a drop in the prices of chemical products, crude oil, coal, drugs and base metals, the DGBAS data showed.

The import price index dropped 5.16 percent in November from a year earlier in Taiwan dollar terms and fell 3.98 percent in U.S. dollar terms, the figures showed.

The export price index declined 5.83 percent in Taiwan dollar terms and dropped 4.64 percent in U.S. dollar terms, the data indicated.

In the first 11 months of the year, the WPI fell 2.14 percent year-on-year, the DGBAS data showed.

(By Wu Po-wei and Evelyn Kao)

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