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January CPI falls 1.24% (update)

January CPI falls 1.24% (update)

Taipei, Feb. 5 (CNA) Taiwan's consumer price index (CPI) fell 1.24 percent month-on-month to 102.29 thanks to falling fuel prices, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS, ????) said Thursday. It fell 0.94 percent from a year ago. After seasonal adjustments, the January CPI fell 0.84 percent from a month earlier, according to the DGBAS. On a year-on-year basis, the January CPI decline was the steepest since November 2009, when local consumer prices fell 1.61 percent, according the DGBAS. In addition to the plunge in international crude oil prices, which dragged down fuel costs in the local market, the year-on-year drop in the January CPI resulted from discounts in electricity bills and a higher comparison base seen over the same period of last year, the government agency said. Last month, transportation and communications costs fell 7.03 percent from a year earlier after fuel costs fell 29.52 percent year-on-year, the most significant drop since December 2008, when fuel costs tumbled 30.44 percent from a year earlier. Living costs in December fell 2.17 percent after electricity bills dropped 24.72 percent as Taiwan Power Co. (??), the sole electricity supplier, paid back consumers due to an increase in its profits. However, food prices continued to trend higher in December, up 4.45 percent from a year earlier, with prices of vegetables, eggs and meat up 20.21 percent, 13.19 percent and 9.50 percent, respectively. In addition, dining-out costs rose 3.98 percent year-on-year. Despite the fall in the January CPI, Tsai Yu-tai (???), deputy director of the DGBAS's census department, said there are no concerns about any deflationary pressure in Taiwan as the month's core CPI remained on an uptrend. In December, the core CPI, which excludes vegetables, fruit and energy, rose 0.64 percent from a year earlier, the DGBAS data shows. In the same month, the local wholesale price index (WPI) fell 7.57 percent from a year earlier after a 4.62 percent year-on-year drop in December. The fall in WPI reflected declines in prices of oil, coal, chemical materials and base metal, as well as cheaper electricity bills. Tasi said that the 0.94 percent year-on-year fall in the January CPI allowed a household with monthly spending of NT$60,000 (US$1,905) to cut their costs by about NT$564 in the month. (By Chen Cheng-wei and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-17 20:53 GMT+08:00