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Office of Government Policy Polls Public on Prices

Posted August. 18, 2004 21:54,   


A total of 91.6 percent of citizens and 78.0 percent of economic experts polled feel that the prices of commodities are unstable. In addition, researchers found out that there is a wide gap between the price index, which is released by the Korea National Statistical Office (NSO), and street prices, which consumers actually pay.

According to the Office for Government Policy Coordination, this research project was given to Gallup Korea during the period of July 9-21, targeting general citizens and experts. Among those polled, 72.0 percent of citizens and 72.2 percent of economic experts blamed “increasing oil prices” as the main reason for unstable prices.

In particular, 98.0 percent of citizens and 98.3 percent of experts replied that the price-increase ratio of major commodities is far higher than price-increase ratio that the NSO makes public. Regarding the reasons for this, around half of the citizens (50.5 percent) and experts (45.4 percent) polled thought that the weight on items making up the consumer price measurement was possibly making the difference.

Moreover, 33.7 percent of citizens replied that “weakened government power” was the main factor behind price increases, reflecting a disillusionment in government policies. Meanwhile, experts mentioned “pay increases” (31.7 percent) more than “weakened government power” (18.0 percent) as a factor.

The poll also revealed that there was much opposition against the recent public transportation rate policy of Seoul city, such as the increased subway and bus fares that have been in force starting in July. A total of 47.1 percent of citizens and 46.6 percent of experts pointed out that the fare increase came without any corresponding upgrade in service.

Yong-Gwan Jung yongari@donga.com