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Hong Kong inflation rate holds steady at 9-month low

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Christian Fernsby |
Hong Kong
Asia   Upward pressure came from food

The annual inflation rate in Hong Kong came in at 2.1$ in March 2019, unchanged from the previous month's nine-month low and above market expectations of 1.6$.

Upward pressure came from: food (3.1$ vs 3$ in February), in particular meals bought away from home (2.3$ vs 2$) and other food (4.7$ vs 4.9$); housing (2.9$ vs 3$), such as private housing rent (2.2$ vs 2.4$) and public housing rent (11.6$, the same as in February); miscellaneous services (1.1$ vs 1.6$), such as information and communication services (-8.6$ vs -6.4$), medical services (4.2$, the same as in February) and educational services (2.4$, the same as in February); transport (2$ vs 1.4$); miscellaneous goods (2.1$ vs 1.4$); alcoholic drinks and tobacco (2.5$ vs 2.6$); and clothing and footwear (0.3$ vs -1.5$).

On the other hand, declines were seen in prices of electricity, gas and water (-5.4$ vs -4.7$) and durable goods (-2.4$ vs -1.7$).

Underlying consumer inflation, which excludes the effects of one-off government relief measures such as tax cuts for lower income individuals; extra allowance for the elderly, child & disabled people; students' grants slowed to 2.4$ in March from 2.6$ in the previous month.

"Looking ahead, inflation will likely stay moderate in the near term. The consolidation of fresh-letting residential rentals earlier on should continue to have a mitigating effect in the period ahead.

External price pressures have also shown some easing recently. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely, particularly the impact on the lower-income people.", a Government spokesman said.

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