Gov’t vows to lower consumer prices by October
Korea’s consumer prices continued its upward trend since the turn of the year.
The government is set to announce measures to keep a lid on inflation,… especially with the nation’s biggest holiday season just a couple of months away. Kim Mok-yeon reports. The government has vowed to push for strong measures aimed at stabilizing consumer prices.
During a vice-ministerial meeting on Tuesday, Korea’s finance ministry announced it will attempt to cut prices for farm and fishery products by as much as 50 percent by early next month,… stressing how the cost of living has hit an over five-year high. “Prices of napa cabbages and white radish have risen alot, and we plan to increase supply to meet demand.
We will also expand wholesale market shipments… as well as increase discount events.” The ministry also said it hopes to quell rising prices before the peak season in October,…
when people in Korea celebrate the traditional thanksgiving holiday Chuseok. In the longer-term,… the ministry has vowed to focus on driving down agricultural produce prices in general, which have surged due to months-long drought in the spring and frequent floods and heat waves that affected supplies. “The good news is that the latest price hike is due to temporary factors such as severe weather conditions. So if the government’s new measures are effective, I think we can expect prices to be stabilized by the end of the year.” This comes as Statistics Korea released its monthly consumer price index for July earlier in the day, which showed signs of steady inflation. The consumer price index rose two-point-two percent on-year in July,…
its highest growth rate since March, when prices rose by the same margin.
The figure is slightly higher than the previous month’s rate of one-point-nine percent, as rapidly rising fruit and vegetable prices pushed up the overall figure. Agricultural, livestock and fisheries prices jumped more than eight-and-a-half percent last month, with prices of fresh fruit and vegetables rising by a whopping 20 and 10 percent respectively. Prices of electricity, water and gas also contributed to the rise in July’s prices as they climbed 8 percent, while the rise in petroleum prices, which had been the biggest factor pushing up the consumer price index, slowed to 0.5 percent last month.