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Consumer prices up 0.5%

April 21, 2017

Overall consumer prices rose 0.5% year-on-year in March, compared to the 0.6% average increase in January-February, the Census & Statistics Department said today.


Netting out the effects of the Government's one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate was 1.3% in March, compared to the 1.5% average increase in January-February, mainly due to the larger decreases in the charges for package tours.


Year-on-year increases were recorded for transport, meals bought away from home, alcohol and tobacco, miscellaneous goods as well as clothing and footwear.


Year-on-year decreases were recorded for durable goods, food, electricity, gas and water as well as miscellaneous services.


The department said consumer price inflation stayed modest in March, as imported inflation was low and domestic cost pressure was contained, adding that the lower rate compared with the January-February average was mainly attributable to the slower increase in food prices.


The lower rate was also due to the different timing of the Easter holiday between this year and last year, resulting in a notable year-on-year decrease in the charges for package tours in March.


Looking ahead, the department said inflation pressure should stay moderate in the near term. The Government will continue to monitor inflation developments closely, particularly the impact on lower-income people.