ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Consumer prices down 2.2% in September

Deflation was due to waivers of public housing rentals from the housing authority.

Overall consumer prices fell by 2.2% YoY in September compared to a year earlier, affected by waivers of public housing rentals released by the Hong Kong Housing Authority during the month, reports the Census & Statistics Department (C&SD).

Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the composite CPI (underlying inflation rate) in September was at 0.5%, larger than that the 0.1% in August. This was mainly due to increases in the costs for meals bought away from home as well as the upward adjustment in public housing rentals.

For the three-month period ending September, the average rate of change in inflation was -0.8%, and a faster deterioration than the -0.2% recorded for the three-month period ending in August.

Decreases in prices were recorded for electricity, gas and water (-19.8%); clothing and footwear (-7.0%); housing (-5.3%); durable goods (-3.0%) and transport (-2.1%).

In contrast, price increases were recorded for food (excluding meals bought away from home) (3.1%), miscellaneous goods (1.9%), alcoholic drinks and tobacco (1.8%), meals bought away from home (0.6%) and miscellaneous services (0.6%).

Looking ahead, overall inflationary pressures should stay mild in the rest of the year as global and local economic conditions remain weak amid the threat of COVID-19, a government spokesman said in the C&SD press release.

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Chan (Pexels).

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