Taiwan’s consumer prices stable as CPI shows 1.31% rise in June

Taipei, Taiwan's consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.31 percent in June from a year earlier, due largely to a spike in tobacco tax and the price of raw materials, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said Thursday.

When fruit, vegetables and energy were excluded, the core CPI for June showed only a 1.3 percent rise year-on-year, said Mei Chia-yuan (???), deputy director of the DGBAS Statistics Department.

For the first half of the year, the increase in the core CPI was 1.6 percent, she said, adding that the latest figures indicated stable inflation.

Month-on-month, the CPI rose in June by 0.43 percent, and after seasonal adjustments by 0.28 percent, according to the DGBAS data.

Mei said the heavy rains in central and southern Taiwan last month did not cause any huge impact on commodity prices. Rather, the main factors that drove up the CPI were higher tobacco tax and fuel prices, she said, adding that the effects of the tobacco tax on commodity prices are expected to remain until October.

In June, the price of tobacco and betel nuts spiked 40.14 percent from a year earlier, driven by an increase in taxes on those items, while fuel prices increased 22.79 percent year-on-year due to higher international crude oil prices, the DGBAS said.

Food prices in Taiwan dropped 0.12 percent on average in June, although the prices of eggs, dairy products, fishery items rose 12.79 percent, 3.12 percent and 2.99 percent, respectively, the data showed.

However, vegetable and fruit prices fell 20.09 percent and 8.35 percent, respectively, year-on-year, which helped to stabilize average food prices, according to the DGBAS.

Its data showed that the wholesale price index (WPI) for June rose 6.65 percent from a year earlier, reflecting price increases in oil, coal, base metals, chemical goods and drugs, which was offset by a drop in the price of agricultural products.

The local import price index rose 9.98 percent from a year earlier in Taiwan dollar terms and 10.60 percent in U.S. dollars, while the export price index gained 4.17 percent in Taiwan dollars and 4.76 percent in U.S. dollars, the data showed.

In the first six months of the year, the CPI rose 1.6 percent from a year earlier, with the core CPI rising 1.40 percent and the WPI 2.37 percent, the DGBAS said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel