Sunday, June 26, 2022
Martin Hennecke

Cheaper veggies take the edge off inflation
<p>Hong Kong&#39;s overall Consumer Price Index in April rose at a slower-than-expected pace of 1.3 percent compared to 1.7 percent in March, mainly due to smaller increases in the price of basic food, particularly fresh vegetables, says the Census and Statistics Department.</p><p>Excluding the effects of all government&#39;s one-off relief measures, year-on-year underlying inflation was 1.6 percent, also smaller than the 1.7 percent registered in March.</p><p>The price of basic food rose 5.2 percent last month, and clothing and footwear by 3.6 percent from 2021. And the costs of meals out and takeaway food advanced by 3.2 percent; while transport went up by 1.8 percent.</p><p>On the other hand, a year-on-year decrease in prices was recorded in April for housing, which slipped by 0.6 percent.</p><p>Taking the first four months of 2022 together, the CPI rose by 1.5 percent over a year earlier, and the increase was 1.6 percent during the period if all government&#39;s one-off relief measures are excluded.</p><p>The underlying consumer price inflation rate edged down last month and the increase in basic food prices, though remaining notable, saw some moderation, thanks to the stabilization of fresh vegetable supplies, a government spokesman said.</p><p>Price increases for meals out and takeaway food, meanwhile, picked up amid the receding local epidemic, and the costs of energy-related items continued to record increases, the spokesman said.</p><p>Looking ahead, while external price pressures are expected to remain intensive in view of elevated inflation in many major economies, overall inflation should stay moderate in the near term as domestic cost pressures remain largely mild, the spokesman said.</p>

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