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Korean Consumer Burden Increasing

Posted December. 04, 2007 04:15,   


Korea’s consumer prices are skyrocketing due to soaring oil and raw materials prices in the international market.

The consumer price index, known as the CPI, rose by 3.5 percent year on year last month, according to a report the National Statistical Office released Monday.

This is the largest year-on-year increase since October 2004 (3.8 percent). Although the inflation rate seemed to stabilize at around two percent last year and early this year, it exceeded the three percent mark for two consecutive months since October this year (3.0 percent).

The price index for daily necessities climbed to 4.9 percent year-on-year in November, and the price index for fresh foods also jumped 10.8 percent in the same period, rising over ten percent for two consecutive months since October (11.6 percent).

The price index for agriculture, fishery and livestock products and industrial products climbed to 4.5 and 4.1 percent, respectively, in October and November from a year ago and the price index for public and individual services also rose 3.4 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively. Housing prices showed an increase of 1.9 percent.

By item, the price of cabbage soared 213.3 percent, followed by 171.4 percent for lettuce, 89.7 percent for scallions, 27.4 percent for gold, 13.4 percent for gasoline, and 10.7 percent for heating oil. City bus fares also rose 10.4 percent. The recent hike in the prices of produce and raw materials are clearly reflected in the survey.