South Korea's consumer price growth slowed to 3.9 percent in October, falling below 4 percent for the first time this year, a government report showed Tuesday.
Consumer prices rose by 3.9 percent in October from a year earlier, down from a 4.3 percent on-year gain tallied in the previous month, according to the report by Statistics Korea.
The nation's annual headline inflation fell below the upper ceiling of the Bank of Korea (BOK)'s inflation target band of 2-4 percent in October for the first time this year after peaking at 5. 3 percent in August.
From a month before, consumer prices dipped 0.2 percent last month, marking the first negative monthly gain in 11 months.
Core consumer prices, which exclude volatile energy and food prices, advanced 3.7 percent on-year in October, but the core consumer inflation dropped 0.2 percent in October from a month before
The slowdown in consumer price hike was mainly attributable to a fall in agricultural product prices, according to the report. There were no big changes in prices for industrial products and services.
Prices for agricultural, dairy and fisheries goods fell 1.7 percent in October from the same period of last year after gaining 2.3 percent on-year in September. Agricultural goods prices dropped 3.6 percent on-month in October, contributing to the slower consumer price hike.
The fresh food price index, a gauge of vegetables and fruits, sank a whopping 14 percent on-year in October compared with a 7.4 percent on-year gain tallied in September. The index dropped 6.6 percent last month from the previous month.
Meanwhile, prices for industrial goods advanced 7.6 percent in October from a year earlier, slightly down from a 7.7 percent on- year rise in September. Petroleum product prices soared 17.2 percent on-year in October, while posting a 1.2 percent on-month rise last month.
Service prices jumped 4.9 percent in October from a year before, up from a 2.8 percent on-year rise in September. Housing rental prices jumped 4.9 percent on-year last month, with prices for public and private services gaining 1.1 percent and 3.2 percent respectively.