Consumer prices up 0.39% in October

Taipei-Taiwan’s consumer prices rose slightly in October from a year earlier, due mainly to an increase in medical costs, tourism expenses, and the prices of fruit, cosmetics and sanitation items, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said Wednesday.

DGBAS data showed that the consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.39 percent year-on-year in October after a 0.43 percent rise in September.

On a monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.03 percent, but after seasonal adjustments, the figure showed a 0.35 percent drop.

The core CPI, which excludes fruit, vegetables and energy, rose 0.66 percent in October from a year earlier, the DGBAS figures showed.

In the first 10 months of the year, the CPI grew 0.50 percent from a year earlier, while the core CPI rose 0.49 percent year-on-year, according to the data.

The DGBAS said consumer prices in Taiwan showed stable growth in October and there were no deflationary concerns.

In October, food prices rose 1.65 percent from a year earlier, with the prices of fruits and vegetables up 6.63 percent and 1.29 percent, respectively, while egg prices dropped 16.05 percent, offsetting the increase in food prices, the DGBAS said.

Education and entertainment costs rose 0.95 percent due to higher tourism costs, while medical expenses increased by 0.76 percent because of a hike in hospital registration and other fees, the DGBAS said.

Meanwhile, transportation and communications costs fell 3.15 percent due to an 11.22 percent drop in fuel prices and a 4.94 percent decline in communication costs, according to the DGBAS.

The cost of a basket of 17 government-monitored household necessities, including rice, pork, bread, eggs, sugar, cooking oil, shampoo and toilet paper, fell 0.36 percent in October from a year earlier, after a 0.53 percent drop in September, the DGBAS said.

The wholesale price index (WPI) declined 6.21 percent, largely reflecting a drop in the prices of chemical products, crude oil, coal, drugs and base metals, the DGBAS data showed.

The import price index dropped 7.18 percent in October from a year earlier in Taiwan dollar terms and fell 6.64 percent in U.S. dollar terms, the figures showed.

The export price index declined 6.07 percent in Taiwan dollars and dropped 5.52 percent in U.S. dollar terms, the data indicated.

In the first 10 months of the year, the WPI fell 1.82 percent year-on-year, the DGBAS data showed.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel