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Financial News: Hong Kong Inflation At 18-Month High

Hong Kong Inflation At 18-Month High

03/20/2018 - 06:21:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Hong Kong's consumer price inflation accelerated at a faster-than-expected pace in February to the highest level in one-and-a-half years, figures from the Census and Statistics Department showed Tuesday.

Consumer prices climbed 3.1 percent year-over-year in February, well above January's 1.7 percent stable rate of increase. Economists had expected the inflation to rise to 2.2 percent.

Moreover, the latest inflation was the highest since August 2016, when prices had grown 4.3 percent.

The underlying inflation, which excludes one-off relief measures of the government, also quickened to 3.1 percent from 1.7 percent.

Utility costs surged 10.9 percent annually in February and clothing and footwear prices rose by 3.5 percent.

"Temporary factors aside, with the continued expansion in the global and local economies, the underlying inflation pressure may increase somewhat over the course of 2018, though the inflation rate is expected to be contained at a moderate level," a government spokesman said.

"The Government will continue to monitor the inflation developments closely, particularly the impact on the lower-income people."

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