South Korea’s consumer prices grew at a slower pace on-year in February, a government report showed Tuesday, thanks in part to stabilized costs of farming goods.
The country’s consumer price index rose 1 percent in February from a year earlier, a slight decline from the 1.1 percent gain tallied in January, according to the report by Statistics Korea.
This marked the fourth straight month that growth has stayed in the 1 percent range.
Core inflation, which excludes volatile oil and food prices, rose 1.7 percent on-year in February, unchanged from January when it also increased 1.7 percent from a year earlier, South Korea’s News (Yonhap) reported.
The agency attributed the slowing growth to stabilized prices of farming goods and oil products that helped keep prices of other consumption goods low. Falling costs of personal services also played a part in bringing down the overall price index, it added.
The report said the fresh food price index dropped 12.4 percent on-year in February following a 12.9 percent fall in January. Fresh vegetables and fruits fell 25.7 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.
Prices of oil-related products also declined with gasoline and diesel prices falling 3.6 percent and 3.8 percent on-year in February.
The “livelihood price” index, which measures the costs of key daily necessities, rose 0.4 percent on-year last month.
Food and non-alcoholic beverage products dropped 1.3 percent, while those of transportation and communications services declined 0.8 percent and 0.2 percent over the same period, the report showed.
Utility service prices, however, posted a marked rise. The costs of electricity, tap water and gas jumped 6 percent on-year in February.
Home rental prices also rose 2.5 percent in February, which was higher than the previous month’s 2.4 percent gain, the report showed.
The government forecast that consumer prices will remain stable “for the time being” but could “slightly” pick up starting in March. It cited such lingering risks as heightened volatility in international crude oil prices and possible climate-caused supply disruptions of farming goods.