South Korea's consumer prices rose more than the targeted maximum four percent in December for a second straight month, highlighting persistent inflation pressures, official figures showed Friday.
Statistics Korea said the consumer price index rose 4.2 percent in December year-on-year, the same as in November. The index was up 0.4 percent month-on-month compared with a 0.1 percent rise in November.
Core inflation, which strips out volatile fuel and food costs, grew 3.6 percent from a year earlier, the largest rise for this year. It gained 0.4 percent from the previous month.
For the whole of this year inflation was four percent, within the government's target band of 2-4 percent, but only after a recalibration of the price index in late November which shaved off 40 basis points.
Taming inflation is a top priority for economic policymakers. The central bank said Thursday that its monetary policy goal in 2012 will be price stability.