Taiwan’s CPI up in August on higher fruit prices

Taiwan's consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.57 percent in August compared with the same month last year due to an increase in fruit prices, according to government figures released Tuesday.

The 0.57 percent growth of the CPI was the lowest rate this year, signaling that consumer prices in Taiwan were relatively stable, said Tsai Yu-tai (???), deputy chief of the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) Department of Statistics.

In August, food prices rose 2.61 percent from a year earlier, the lowest growth rate in 13 months, Tsai said.

The DGBAS data showed that fruit prices for August surged 23.02 percent year-on-year as harvests were adversely affected by unfavorable weather conditions, including a cold wave earlier this year.

The price of aquaculture products soared 5.33 percent year-on-year, the biggest increase in 18 months, the data showed.

Tsai said that the increase in fruit and vegetable prices raised the entire CPI by 0.54 percentage points, the smallest increase since April.

In the first eight months of the year, fruit prices soared 23.81 percent year-on-year, the biggest growth in 24 years, Tsai said.

The last time fruit prices in Taiwan increased more than 20 percent in the January to August period was in 1992, when they climbed 25.37 percent.

The core CPI, which excludes vegetables, fruits and energy, rose 0.77 percent in August from a year earlier, while the index excluding vegetables and fruits climbed 0.16 percent year-on-year, the DGBAS data showed.

In August, the wholesale price index (WPI) fell 4.1 percent from a year earlier, dropping for the 24th consecutive month, and also declined 1.17 percent from the previous month, according to the DGBAS.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel