South Korea's consumer price inflation has stayed around 1 percent for 16 straight months on the back of stable prices of farm goods and oil products, a government report showed Tuesday.
Consumer prices rose 1 percent in February from a year earlier after increasing 1.1 percent in the prior month, according to Statistics Korea. From a month earlier, the prices gained 0.3 percent.
After falling below 2 percent in November 2012, the consumer price inflation stayed in the 1 percent range till February this year. The prices fell below 1 percent in October last year, but it rose to the 1 percent level a month later.
Core consumer price inflation, which excludes volatile prices of agricultural and petroleum products, advanced 1.7 percent in February from a year earlier. From a month ago, the core consumer prices gained 0.2 percent.
The OECD-method core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, increased 1.4 percent on year in February.
The 1-percent-range consumer price inflation was attributable to lower prices of farm goods and oil products.
The so-called livelihood prices, which reflect costs of key daily necessities, climbed 0.4 percent in February from a year earlier, staying below 1 percent for six straight months. From a month earlier, the prices rose 0.3 percent.
Fresh food prices, which gauge prices of vegetable and fruit, plunged 12.4 percent in February from a year ago after declining 12.9 percent in the prior month. The prices maintained its downward trend for six straight months.
Prices of agricultural, livestock and fishery products decreased 5.4 percent in February from a year earlier. Prices for napa cabbage, scallion and red pepper powder plunged 58.7 percent, 43.4 percent and 23.4 percent each, but pork and egg prices advanced 12.1 percent and 13 percent respectively.
Industrial goods prices increased 1.7 percent on year in February. Milk and sun cream prices jumped 11.8 percent and 26.8 percent each, but oil product prices declined 2.7 percent last month. Gasoline and diesel prices slid 3.6 percent and 3.8 percent each.
Prices for electricity, tap water and gas prices gained 6 percent in February from a year earlier, but the prices were unchanged compared with the prior month.
Public service prices rose 0.7 percent in February from a year earlier due to higher taxi fares and sewerage service prices that surged 11 percent and 11.9 percent each last month.
Rent prices gained 2.5 percent on year in February due to higher prices of jeonse, South Korea's unique housing rental system under which tenants provide home owners with a deposit instead of monthly rental payments. The jeonse prices jumped 3.1 percent last month.
Private services prices increased 0.9 percent on year in February as prices for housing management and beauty treatment gained 3.5 percent and 4.7 percent respectively.
The Finance Ministry said in a separate statement that the consumer price inflation will remain at a stable level for the time being, but the ministry cautioned that the March consumer price inflation would rebound due to the lower base effect of March last year.
The ministry noted that there remained negative factors such as possible fluctuations in global oil prices and supply disruption in farm goods caused by worsening weather conditions.