HONG KONG, March 20 -- Hong Kong's underlying inflation rate slowed down to 3.6 percent in February netting out the government's one-off relief measures, compared to 4.3 percent in January, the city's statistics department said here on Thursday.
The smaller increase was mainly attributable to the difference in timing of the Lunar New Year, resulting in a smaller increase in the charges for package tours and the costs for meals bought away from home. Another contributing factor was the moderate increase in private housing rents.
The department forecast generally mild imported inflation, adding the feed-through of the milder increases in fresh-letting residential rentals last year should help contain the upside risks to inflation in the near term.
It said the government will monitor the inflation situation, particularly its impact on lower-income people.