Feb sees 1.7% inflation

March 23, 2023

Overall consumer prices rose 1.7% in February year-on-year, less than the 2.4% increase in January, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.


Netting out the effects of the Government's one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of increase in February’s underlying inflation rate was also 1.7%.


As the Lunar New Year fell in late January this year but in early February last year, the year-on-year comparison of the figures for January and February 2023 might have been affected by this factor to a certain extent.


Taking the first two months of 2023 together to neutralise the Lunar New Year effect, overall consumer prices rose by 2.1% over a year earlier. Netting out the effect of the Government's one-off relief measures, the corresponding increase was also 2.1%.


Compared with February last year, price increases were seen in electricity, gas and water, alcoholic drinks and tobacco, clothing and footwear, meals out and takeaway food, miscellaneous services, miscellaneous goods and transport.  


On the other hand, compared to the same period last year, decreases in durable goods, basic food and housing were recorded.


The Government noted that taking the first two months of 2023 together to neutralise the distortions caused by the different timing of the Lunar New Year, the underlying consumer price inflation rate remained moderate at 2.1%, though edging up from 2% in December 2022.


Prices of energy-related items soared further year-on-year, and those of clothing and footwear as well as food continued to record visible increases. Price pressures on most other major items remained broadly in check.


Looking ahead, overall inflation could face some upward pressure, but should remain moderate in the near term. Domestic cost pressures may increase in tandem with the return of economic activities to normalcy.


External price pressures should remain notable for some time, though likely see some moderation alongside easing inflation in major economies, the Government added.

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