Import prices see speedy rise in May

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Import prices see speedy rise in May

Korea’s import prices rose at a faster pace in May than a month earlier mainly due to increased costs of raw minerals and capital goods, the central bank said yesterday.

In local currency terms, import prices climbed 2.1 percent on-year in May, up from a gain of 1.7 percent in April, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

Last month’s increase comes after price gains fell to their lowest figure in more than two years in April.

Import prices, however, fell 1.9 percent on-month in May.

“There were gains in raw minerals, capital goods and consumer product prices in the cited month vis-a-vis the year before, that pushed up numbers,” the central bank said.

Prices for minerals increased 4.8 percent on-year in May, up from a 4.3 percent gain reported for the previous month.

The BOK said this gain pushed up import prices for all commodities by 3.6 percent, a rise from 3.0 percent in April. Farm and fisheries prices were down 7.7 percent from a year earlier.

Numbers for capital and consumer goods moved up 4.3 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.

The country’s export price gain in terms of the Korean won, meanwhile, moved up 3.2 percent from a year earlier and down 0.3 percent from April.

The central bank left its policy rate unchanged at 3.25 percent for the 12th straight month in June, citing global economic uncertainties and lingering inflationary pressure.

Korea’s annual consumer price growth reached 2.5 percent in May from a year earlier, and was unchanged from the month before.

It marked the third month in a row inflation has been in the 2 percent range.

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