ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Inflation up 1.5% in May

Price growth of pork, vegetables and private housing rentals were weaker.

Overall consumer prices inched up 1.5% YoY in May, albeit a weaker figure compared to 1.9% in April, according to data from the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD).

Netting out the effects of theall Ggovernment's one-off relief measures, the YoY rate of increase in the composite consumer price index (CPI) was 1.9%, smaller than that in April (2.3%). The smaller increase in May was mainly due to the price weaknesses of pork and fresh vegetables, as well as private housing rentals.

Amongst industries, prices of food (11.0%), miscellaneous goods (2.9%), housing (1.6%), meals bought away from home (1.4%), miscellaneous services (0.7%) and transport (0.6%) rose.

On the other hand, YoY decreases were seen in electricity, gas and water (-19.4%), clothing and footwear (-5.4%) and durable goods (-2.8%).

As for alcoholic drinks and tobacco, the composite CPI remained unchanged.

Taking the first five months of 2020 together, the composite CPI jumped 1.8% YoY. For the 12 months ending May, inflation was on average 2.6% higher than that in the preceding 12-month period.

“Looking ahead, inflation should continue to ease in the near term, as both external and domestic price pressures are expected to abate further amidst subdued economic conditions, and food inflation is set to recede visibly against a high base of comparison,” a government spokesperson said.

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