Hong Kong's CPI rises 3.6 % on food, private rentals in Jan.

20:48, February 22, 2011      

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Hong Kong's overall consumer prices rose 3.6 percent in January over a year earlier, higher than 3.1 percent in December, mainly due to the enlarged increases in the price of food and private housing rents, local authorities said on Tuesday.

Netting out the effects of the government's one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of increase in the Composite Consumer Price Index in January was 3.5 percent, larger than last December, according to figures released by the Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government.

The whole Asian region is currently subject to a greater inflation risk, and the local government will monitor the situation, especially inflation's impact on people in the lower income bracket, said a government spokesman.

The spokesman noted that the underlying consumer price inflation went up further in January, mainly reflecting higher food prices and the continued feed-through of the earlier fast increases in private housing rentals.

Some of the faster price increases in the latter part of January was also related to the timing of the Lunar New Year, he added.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average monthly rate of increase in the Composite Consumer Price Index for November to January was 0.5 percent. Netting out the effects of the government's one-off relief measures, the average monthly rate of increase in the Composite Consumer Price Index for November to January was 0.5 percent.

Year-on-year price increases were recorded in January for food excluding meals bought away from home at 8.2 percent; electricity, gas and water at 7 percent; clothing and footwear at 5 percent; miscellaneous goods at 3.6 percent.

The spokesman said the economy will continue to face higher price pressures in the coming months, due to sustained rises in global food and commodity prices, higher inflation in the import sources, and also the strong local economic conditions.

Source: Xinhua
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