Inflation defies expectations, eases to 1 percent in January

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Inflation defies expectations, eases to 1 percent in January

Korea’s annual inflation rate eased in January, government data showed Thursday, marking the slowest gain in 17 months and one that was lower than expectations.

The country’s consumer price index climbed 1 percent last month from a year earlier, compared with the previous month’s 1.5 percent on-year gain, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

From a month earlier, the index also increased 0.4 percent in January.

A poll by Yonhap Infomax, the financial news arm of Yonhap News Agency, expected the January inflation rate to rise 1.17 percent on-year.

The Bank of Korea’s target annual inflation rate is 2 percent.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile oil and food prices, grew 1.1 percent on-year in January.

Core inflation gained 1.5 percent in 2017, the slowest pace in 18 years.

The statistics office said the monthly decline is led by lower bills.

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