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Inflation in Taiwan 1.2% in 2014 (update)

Inflation in Taiwan 1.2% in 2014 (update)

Taipei, Jan. 6 (CNA) Taiwan's consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.2 percent in 2014, the sixth consecutive year it has risen by less than 2 percent, according to government statistics released Tuesday. Core inflation (not including the prices of fruits, vegetables and energy) was up 1.26 percent for the year, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said. The price of a basket of 17 household necessities -- including rice, pork, bread, eggs, sugar, cooking oil, shampoo and toilet paper -- monitored by the Cabinet rose 5.35 percent in 2014, the highest rise since 2008, when the basket's price rose 13.65 percent. That increase and a 3.74 percent rise in food prices year-on-year explained why many consumers still felt the pinch of higher prices in 2014 despite the generally low level of inflation, especially as wages continued to stagnate. In December, the CPI rose 0.61 percent, driven mainly by higher prices for meat, eggs, vegetables and fish, the DGBAS said. But those increases were offset to some extent by lower fuel costs and declines in telecommunications fees and the prices of computers and consumer electronics and communications gadgets, the DGBAS said. On a month-on-month basis, the December CPI fell 0.36 percent largely because of lower fuel costs resulting from the plunge in international crude oil prices, but higher vegetable prices limited the overall decline in the index, the DGBAS said. After seasonal adjustments, the December CPI also fell 0.08 percent, the data showed. The DGBAS said food prices in December rose 4.34 percent from a year earlier, with the prices of eggs, vegetables, meat and fish up 13.25 percent, 11.56 percent, 9.27 percent and 4.22 percent, respectively. Dining-out costs in December gained 4.48 percent from a year earlier, while fruit prices fell 0.32 percent, which helped cushion the overall rise in food prices, the government agency said. Tsai Yu-tai, deputy director of the DGBAS's census department, said dining-out costs in December were up 4 percent year-on-year for the sixth consecutive month. That translated to an increase of NT$272 in dining out costs last month for a household with NT$60,000 (US$1,875) in monthly expenses. The DGBAS said transportation and communications costs fell 4.85 percent year-on-year in December as fuel costs were down 21.07 percent from a year earlier, the steepest monthly decline since July 2008, when fuel costs dropped 21.31 percent. The price of the basket of 17 household necessities rose 4.55 percent in December from a year earlier, moderating from a 5 percent year-on-year increase seen in November. Core inflation in December rose 1.38 percent from a year earlier, while the wholesale price index (WPI) fell 4.20 percent from a year ago on the back of falling crude oil and chemical prices, the DGBAS said. For all of 2014, the WPI index fell 0.51 percent from 2013, DGBAS said. (By Chen Cheng-wei and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-16 18:25 GMT+08:00