Hong Kong consumer prices rise 4.1pc in 2012

Inflation remains steady at 3.7pc during November, December

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 January, 2013, 6:08pm
UPDATED : Monday, 21 January, 2013, 6:08pm


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Consumer prices in Hong Kong rose by 4.1 per cent last year over the previous year, the Census and Statistics Department said on Monday.

Netting out the effects of all government’s one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate even reached 4.7 per cent.

Apart from the whole-year figure, the department on Monday also released consumer price figures for December.

December’s inflation remained at 3.7 per cent, the same rate as in November, the department said.

The increase would be 3.8 per cent if the effects of all government’s one-off relief measures – announced during the 2012 budget – were netted out, it said.

In December, housing costs continued to record the highest increase among all commodities included in the index, up by 5.1 per cent year-on-year.

Food came second with a rise of 4.3 per cent while electricity, gas and water bills rose by 4.1 per cent.

On the other hand, durable goods dropped by 2 per cent over a year earlier. The prices of alcoholic drinks and tobacco remained unchanged.

A government spokesman said inflation was expected to remain mild in the near future after holding steady in the fourth quarter.

“Looking ahead, inflationary pressures are still likely to be largely contained in the near term, given the recent moderate increase in import prices and the subpar performance of the economy,” he said.

The spokesman said the government would remain alert as international food and commodity prices would be volatile amid the global liquidity glut and a pick-up in local housing rentals since early last year.