The pace of inflation for South Korea’s consumer prices got a boost in February after slowing to just half of the Bank of Korea’s target level at the start of 2018.
The country’s consumer price index rose 1.4 per cent year on year in February, according to Statistics Korea, recovering from a dip to to 1 per cent during the previous month and clocking in above the 1.2 per cent median estimate from economists polled by Reuters.
The acceleration in price growth was supported by fresh food prices, which were up 2.2 per cent in February after recording a slight year-on-year dip of 0.3 per cent at the year’s outset.
The latest rise in the headline inflation gauge brought it closer to the Bank of Korea’s target rate of 2 per cent. South Korea became the first large Asian economy to raise interest rates in November on the back of a recovery in exports, with analysts expecting two more hikes in 2018.
Core CPI, which excludes more volatile oil and agricultural prices, was up 1.2 per cent year on year, marking a climb of 0.1 percentage points from January’s reading. In sequential terms consumer prices rose 0.8 per cent from the previous month, doubling their pace from the month prior.