Consumer prices down for 5th straight month in June

07/07/2020 07:28 PM
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CNA photo July 7, 2020
CNA photo July 7, 2020

Taipei, July 7 (CNA) Consumer prices moved lower from a year earlier in June, marking the fifth consecutive month of year-on-year decline, in the wake of a fall in international crude oil prices amid weakening global demand, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said Tuesday.

Data compiled by the DGBAS showed that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June fell 0.76 percent from a year earlier following a 1.21 percent year-on-year decline in May.

However, on a month-on-month basis the CPI rose 0.79 percent and after seasonal adjustments also grew 0.39 percent, according to the data.

Core CPI, which excludes vegetables, fruit and energy, rose 0.13 percent from a year earlier, the DGBAS said.

Despite the fall in June CPI, which was largely caused by falling international crude prices, the DGBAS said, core CPI still moved higher and the local economy remained in a growth pattern, so there are no concerns about deflation in Taiwan.

In June, the cost of transportation and communications fell 5.64 percent from a year earlier with fuel prices plunging 21.75 percent, the DGBAS said.

The DGBAS said the price of education and entertainment also fell 1.48 percent from a year earlier in June after business operators cut the cost of hotel stays and domestic tours by 13.79 percent and 3.65 percent, respectively, with tickets to amusement parks also reduced by 4.44 percent, in a bid to encourage consumers to visit amid fears over COVID-19 infection.

In the month, food prices fell 0.04 percent from a year earlier with the price of fruit falling 8.20 percent. In contrast, the cost of meat and dining out rose 1.31 percent and 0.80 percent from a year earlier, preventing food prices from falling further, the DGBAS said.

The cost of a basket of 17 government-monitored household necessities, including rice, pork, bread, eggs, sugar, cooking oil, shampoo and toilet paper, rose 0.24 percent in June from a year earlier, after a 1.00 percent increase in May, the DGBAS said.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) fell 10.36 percent from a year earlier in June, largely reflecting a drop in the price of fuel and coal products, chemical materials, drugs and base metals, the DGBAS said.

The Import Price Index dropped 13.75 percent in June from a year earlier in Taiwan dollar terms and fell 9.08 percent in U.S. dollar terms, while the Export Price Index declined 9.14 percent in Taiwan dollar terms and 4.22 percent in U.S. dollar terms, the data indicated.

In the first six months of the year, the local CPI fell 0.22 percent from a year earlier, with core CPI up 0.25 percent, while the WPI fell 8.20 percent year-on-year, the DGBAS said.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang)

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