S Korea reports slowest growth in daily necessity prices on record in 2009

11:27, January 05, 2010      

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South Koreans saw prices of daily necessities grow at a record slow pace last year mainly due to a drop in oil prices that kept the overall manufactured product prices relatively low, local media said Tuesday, citing a government report.

In a report released by Statistics Korea, the country's daily necessities price index in 2009 went up 2.1 percent from the previous year, the lowest increment on record since the agency started surveying the index in 1996, Yonhap said.

The index grew 6 percent in 1996 and 11.1 percent in 1997, but made a steady turn as it dropped to as low as 3.1 percent in 2007 before seeing a jump again in 2008 at 5.4 percent.

The agency report ascribed the slow index growth to a decline in crude oil prices combined with the already high base index from the previous year's increase.

Oil prices dropped 34 percent last year to 62 U.S. dollars per barrel from 94 U.S. dollars per barrel in 2008, and according to the Bank of Korea, a 1 percent decrease in average oil price can lower the consumer prices by as much as 0.02 percentage point.

Source: Xinhua
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