South Korea’s producer prices fell by the most in three years in November due to a fall in oil prices and the local currency’s ascent to the dollar, the central bank said Monday.
The producer price index, a barometer of future consumer inflation, inched down 0.2% in November from a year earlier, compared with a 0.2% on-year gain in October, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
The November figure marked the worst performance since November 2009 when the index fell 0.4% on-year, according to South Korea’s (Yonhap) News Agency.
Compared with the previous month, the index declined 0.6% in November, compared with a 0.7% on-month fall in October, the BOK said.
A BOK official said that a fall in oil prices and the local currency’s gain led the producer prices to decline last month.
In November, oil prices fell 0.6% from a year earlier after logging some 5% on-year growth in October, according to the bank. The local currency appreciated an average of 4.1% to the dollar last month, compared with a year ago.
Eased price pressure and the slowing growth are making market players bet on an additional rate cut next year. The BOK froze the key interest rate at 2.75% last month following two rate cuts in July and October.
The BOK also said that it will change the base year for the producer prices to 2010 from 2005 and figures of revised producer prices will be released starting in January 2013.
It added that it will adjust items and the weighting of the producer price index every year from the current five years to better reflect price conditions.