ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Inflation up 1.7% in January

The price of utilities like electricity, gas and water spiked significantly by 10.2%.

It’s a hard year ahead for consumers as overall prices for good and services rose with inflation inching up by 1.7% MoM in January, according to the Census & Statistics Department.

The cost of utilities like electricity, gas and water rose the highest at 10.2% due to the low base of comparison brought about by the special fuel rebate in electricity which started January last year.

The spike in electricity charges was slightly offset by the temporary drag effect from the difference in timing of the Lunar New Year, which fell February as opposed to early January, that led to price declines on items like package tours.

Clothing and footwear, meals bought away from home, housing and transport also rose 2.6%, 2.5%, 2.5% and 1.4% respectively. 

On the other hand, prices dipped by 1.6% for durable goods and 1.5% for miscellaneous services. 

A government spokesperson noted that inflation in February is projected to extend its steep climb amidst distortions caused by the difference in timing of the Lunar New Year and that inflation pressures may increase mildly for the year ahead on the back of a stronger global economy.

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