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Consumer Price Indices for June 2014
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     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (July 21) the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for June 2014. According to the Composite CPI, overall consumer prices rose by 3.6% in June 2014 over the same month a year earlier, slightly smaller than the corresponding increase (3.7%) in May 2014. Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of increase in the Composite CPI (i.e. the underlying inflation rate) in June 2014 was 3.4%, also slightly smaller than that in May (3.5%), mainly due to the smaller increases in private housing rentals, as well as the prices of fresh fruit.

     On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average monthly rate of increase in the Composite CPI for the 3-month period from April to June 2014 was 0.2%, the same as that for the 3-month period from March to May 2014. Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the average monthly rate of increase in the Composite CPI for the 3-month period from April to June 2014 was 0.2%, also the same as that for the 3-month period from March to May 2014.

     Analysed by sub-index, the year-on-year rates of increase in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 3.7%, 3.6% and 3.5% respectively in June 2014, which compared to 3.9%, 3.7% and 3.5% respectively in May. Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rates of increase in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 3.7%, 3.4% and 3.1% respectively in June 2014, which compared to 3.8%, 3.5% and 3.1% respectively in May.

     On a seasonally adjusted basis, for the 3-month period from April to June 2014, the average monthly rates of increase in the seasonally adjusted CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 0.2%, 0.2% and 0.3% respectively. The corresponding rates of increase for the 3-month period from March to May 2014 were all 0.2%. Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the corresponding average monthly rates of increase in the seasonally adjusted CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) for the 3-month period from April to June 2014 were 0.3%, 0.2% and 0.3% respectively, and the corresponding rates of increase for the 3-month period from March to May 2014 were all 0.2%.

     Amongst the various CPI components, year-on-year increases in prices were recorded in June 2014 for alcoholic drinks and tobacco (7.8% in the Composite CPI and 8.2% in the CPI(A), mainly due to the increase of tobacco duty); housing (4.8% in the Composite CPI and 4.6% in the CPI(A)); meals bought away from home (4.7% in the Composite CPI and 4.9% in the CPI(A)); food (excluding meals bought away from home) (3.4% in the Composite CPI and 3.5% in the CPI(A)); miscellaneous services (3.0% in the Composite CPI and 2.7% in the CPI(A)); electricity, gas and water (2.4% in the Composite CPI and 2.9% in the CPI(A)); transport (2.4% in the Composite CPI and 2.8% in the CPI(A)); clothing and footwear (2.0% in the Composite CPI and 0.7% in the CPI(A)) and miscellaneous goods (1.9% in the Composite CPI and 2.4% in the CPI(A)).

     On the other hand, year-on-year decrease in prices was recorded in June 2014 for durable goods (-2.7% in the Composite CPI and -3.0% in the CPI(A)).

     For the first half of 2014 as a whole, the Composite CPI rose by 3.9% over a year earlier. The corresponding increases in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 4.0%, 4.0% and 3.7%. Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the Composite CPI, CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) rose by 3.7%, 4.0%, 3.7% and 3.2% respectively in the first half of 2014 as a whole over a year earlier.

     In the second quarter of 2014, the Composite CPI rose by 3.6% over a year earlier, while the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) rose by 3.8%, 3.8% and 3.5% respectively. The corresponding increases after netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures were 3.5%, 3.7%, 3.5% and 3.2% respectively.

     For the 12 months ended June 2014, the Composite CPI was on average 4.3% higher than in the preceding 12-month period. The respective increases in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 4.9%, 4.3% and 3.9%. The corresponding increases after netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures were 3.9%, 4.3%, 3.9% and 3.5% respectively.

Commentary

     A Government spokesman said that inflationary pressures continued an easing trend, with the Composite CPI showing a slightly slower year-on-year increase in June, thanks to a moderated rise in private housing rentals and the rather modest imported inflation.

     The spokesman commented further that, looking ahead, the upside risks to inflation should remain limited in the near term, as the slower private rental increases in recent periods will continue to feed through to consumer prices and as external price pressures are likely to remain contained. The Government will continue to monitor the inflation developments closely and stay vigilant to their impact on the lower-income people.

Further information

     The CPIs and year-on-year rates of change at section level for June 2014 are shown in Table 1. The time series on the year-on-year rates of change in the CPIs before and after removing the effects of one-off measures are shown in Table 2. For discerning the latest trend in consumer prices, it is also useful to look at the changes in the seasonally adjusted CPIs. The corresponding time series on the average monthly rates of change during the latest 3 months for the seasonally adjusted CPIs are shown in Table 3. The rates of change in the original and the seasonally adjusted Composite CPI and the underlying inflation rate are presented graphically in Chart 1.

     More detailed CPI data (including year-on-year comparison, month-to-month comparison, seasonally adjusted data series and the CPIs by the Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose (COICOP)) are available in the monthly reports. Users can download the June 2014 issue of the Monthly Report on the Consumer Price Index (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp270.jsp?productCode=B1060001) as well as the time series of CPIs at detailed level (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp270.jsp?productCode=D5600001) free of charge at the website of the C&SD.

     For enquiries about the CPIs, please contact the Consumer Price Index Section of the C&SD at telephone no. 2805 6403 or email address [email protected]

Ends/Monday, July 21, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:30

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