Prices of several daily commodities surge in May

Taipei--The consumer price index (CPI) rose moderately in May from a year earlier, but the price increase for a basket of 17 daily commodities hit a 27-month high, the government said Tuesday.

The Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said the CPI in May was up 0.59 percent year-on-year, mainly because of price increases for fishery and dairy products and services.

The prices of meat, fuel and health care were also higher than a year earlier but those increases were partially offset by year-on-year falls in the prices of vegetables, fruit, and consumer electronic products.

Core inflation, which excludes the prices of fruit, vegetables and energy, was up 1.11 percent.

Mei Chia-yuan (???), the deputy director of the DGBAS's statistics department, said the year-on-year price increase in May was the highest in four months, but overall, inflation was stable and moderate.

But Mei noted that the annual increase in the cost of a basket of 17 daily commodities tracked by the DGBAS surged by 2.08 percent year-on-year, the biggest such rise since March 2015.

Among them, the price of fresh milk rose 9.15 percent, the highest since March 2012. The prices of shampoos and conditioners rose 7.5 percent, and prices of soy sauce and pork rose by 4.18 percent and 4.12 percent, respectively.

Mei said the spikes in the costs of milk and pork in May were largely because of decreased production due to inclement weather.

Despite what Mei called a modest increase in CPI, the cost of dining out in May surged by 2.08 percent, the highest since May 2015, mainly because the base of comparison last year was relatively low.

Average household consumer expenditures in May increased by NT$354 compared with a year earlier, and spending on eating out rose the most of any category, by an average of NT$133.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel