ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Inflation dips to 2.5% in December

The growth in food prices hit 3.8%.

The increase in the prices of goods and services in Hong Kong continued to soften to 2.5% in December from 2.6% the previous month, according to the Census & Statistics department.

The moderating inflation came as the cost of private housing rentals and meals bought away from home recorded only mild increases.

Also read: Hong Kong minimum wage to rise 8.7% to $37.50 in May

Inflation levels for electricity, gas and water grew the most in December at 3.8% along with food which recorded the same headline figure. Prices for housing; alcoholic drinks and tobacco; and transport also rose by 2.9%, 2.8%, and 1.8% respectively. On the other hand, the prices of durable goods as well as clothing and footwear fell 2.3% and 1.5% in December.

For the full-year of 2018, the underlying inflation rate averaged 2.6%.

“In the near term, the upside risks to inflation should be contained, as imported inflation has stayed moderate and as pressures on local rentals have weakened somewhat of late,” a government spokesperson said in a statement.

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