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Consumer Price Indices for September 2015
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     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (October 22) the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for September 2015. According to the Composite CPI, overall consumer prices rose by 2.0% in September 2015 over the same month a year earlier, smaller than the corresponding increase (2.4%) in August 2015. 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 September 2015 was 2.1%, also smaller than that in August (2.6%), mainly because the effect of upward adjustment in public housing rentals by the Housing Authority in September 2014 faded out in September 2015 and the special fuel rebate in electricity starting from mid-August was in effect throughout September 2015.

     On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average monthly rate of change in the Composite CPI for the 3-month period from July to September 2015 was 0.2%, and the corresponding rate of change for the 3-month period from June to August 2015 was -0.6%. 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 July to September 2015 was 0.2%, the same as that for the 3-month period from June to August 2015.

     Analysed by sub-index, the year-on-year rates of increase in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 2.1%, 2.1% and 1.8% respectively in September 2015, which compared to 3.0%, 2.4% and 1.8% respectively in August. 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 2.1%, 2.2% and 1.9% respectively in September 2015, which compared to 3.2%, 2.5% and 2.0% respectively in August.

     On a seasonally adjusted basis, for the 3-month period from July to September 2015, the average monthly rates of change in the seasonally adjusted CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 0.1%, 0.2% and 0.2% respectively. The corresponding rates of change for the 3-month period from June to August 2015 were -2.0%, -0.1% and 0.1%. 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 July to September 2015 were 0.1%, 0.2% and 0.2% respectively, and the corresponding rates of increase for the 3-month period from June to August 2015 were 0.2%, 0.2% and 0.1% respectively.

     Amongst the various CPI components, year-on-year increases in prices were recorded in September 2015 for meals bought away from home (4.2% in both the Composite CPI and CPI(A)), housing (3.6% in the Composite CPI and 3.2% in the CPI(A)), food (excluding meals bought away from home) (3.5% in both the Composite CPI and CPI(A)), miscellaneous services (1.3% in both the Composite CPI and CPI(A)), miscellaneous goods (0.7% in the Composite CPI and 1.4% in the CPI(A)) as well as alcoholic drinks and tobacco (0.1% in both the Composite CPI and CPI(A)).

     On the other hand, year-on-year decreases in prices were recorded in September 2015 for electricity, gas and water (-10.1% in the Composite CPI and -10.5% in the CPI(A), mainly due to the special fuel rebate in electricity starting from mid-August); durable goods (-5.6% in the Composite CPI and -5.1% in the CPI(A)) as well as clothing and footwear (-1.0% in the Composite CPI and -0.8% in the CPI(A)).

     As for transport, the Composite CPI fell by 0.3% over a year earlier but the CPI(A) rose by 0.8%.

     Taking the first nine months of 2015 together, the Composite CPI rose by 3.3% over a year earlier. The corresponding increases in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 4.5%, 3.0% and 2.1%. Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the Composite CPI, CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) rose by 2.5%, 3.2%, 2.4% and 1.9% respectively in the first nine months of 2015 over a year earlier.

     In the third quarter of 2015, the Composite CPI rose by 2.3% over a year earlier, while the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) rose by 2.8%, 2.3% and 1.8% respectively. The corresponding increases after netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures were 2.4%, 2.9%, 2.4% and 1.9% respectively.

     For the 12 months ended September 2015, the Composite CPI was on average 3.7% higher than in the preceding 12-month period. The respective increases in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 5.1%, 3.4% and 2.4%. The corresponding increases after netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures were 2.7%, 3.4%, 2.6% and 2.0% respectively.

Commentary

     A Government spokesman said that consumer price inflation eased in September, mainly because the impact of the upward adjustment of public housing rentals a year earlier by the Housing Authority faded out and the special fuel rebate in electricity was in effect throughout September. The lower food inflation also contributed to the easing trend.

     The spokesman commented further that, looking ahead, inflation should remain contained in the near term given the soft import prices and moderate local cost pressures. The Government will continue to monitor the inflation developments closely, particularly its impact on the lower-income people.

Further information

     The CPIs and year-on-year rates of change at section level for September 2015 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 September 2015 issue of the Monthly Report on the Consumer Price Index (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp270.jsp?productCode=B1060001), the time series of CPIs at detailed level (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp270.jsp?productCode=D5600001) as well as the time series of CPIs at COICOP division level (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp270.jsp?productCode=D5600002) 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. 3903 7374 or email address [email protected]

Ends/Thursday, October 22, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:30

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