South Korea's inflation rate rose at the fastest pace for more than a year in May, on the back of higher utility costs, state data showed Tuesday.
The consumer price index rose 1.7 percent in May from a year ago -- the highest increase for 19 months, according to Statistics Korea.
Month on month, the May index was up 0.2 percent.
The May figure is still well below the central Bank of Korea's target inflation rate of 2.5 to 3.5 percent.
The cost of gas, water, electricity and other utilities rose three percentfrom a year ago, while clothing prices increased 4.2 percent.
The core inflation rate excluding volatile oil and food prices climbed 2.2 percent on year, slowing from a 2.3-percent rise in April.
On month, the core inflation rate rose 0.3 percent.
The country's central Bank of Korea has forecast an inflation rate of 2.1 percent for 2014, following a 1.3 percent increase in 2013 -- the slowest in 14 years.
Thecentral bank has held its key policy rate at 2.5 percent since May last year.