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S. Korea's producer price growth slows in March

(Xinhua)

13:00, April 09, 2012

SEOUL, April 9 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's producer price growth slowed last month despite the continued rise in global oil prices, the central bank said Monday.

The producer price index (PPI), a barometer of future consumer price inflation, advanced 0.6 percent in March from a month earlier, down from a 0.7 percent on-month rise tallied in the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

From a year before, the producer prices gained 2.8 percent after posting a 3.5 percent on-year climb in February.

The slower rise was mainly attributed to fruit prices that gained 2.1 percent on-month in March, down from a 10.6 percent on- month jump a month earlier.

Prices for agricultural, livestock and fishery products rose 1. 4 percent on-month in March, down from a 4.3 percent on-month gain registered in the previous month. Vegetable prices advanced at a faster pace than the previous month, but fruit prices rose at a slower clip.

Manufactured goods prices rose 0.7 percent on-month in March, equaling to the one for February. Petroleum product prices climbed 2.6 percent last month from a month before amid higher oil prices. Dubai crude, South Korea's benchmark, averaged 122.5 U.S. dollars a barrel last month, up 5.4 percent from the prior month.

Service prices edged up 0.2 percent over the cited period as the gain in transport service prices outweighed the fall in lease and rent prices. Prices for the transport service rose 0.3 percent, and the number for other service gained 0.4 percent.

Prices for electricity, water and gas expanded 0.4 percent on- month in March, up from a 0.2 percent on-month rise recorded in the previous month.

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