Hong Kong Inflation At 4-Month Low

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Hong Kong’s consumer price inflation eased for the second straight month in May to reach a four-month low, data from the Census and Statistics Department showed on Monday.

The consumer price index rose 1.5 percent year-on-year in May, after a 1.9 percent increase in April. The inflation rate was the lowest since January, when it was 1.4 percent.

The smaller annual increase in May inflation was mainly due to the smaller rates of increases in pork and fresh vegetables, as well as private housing rentals, the agency said.

Excluding the effects of all government’s one-off relief measures, core inflation was 1.9 percent in May, after a 2.3 percent rise in the previous month.

“Prices of basic foodstuffs showed a narrower year-on-year increase as the impact of the surge in pork prices which started in May last year began to wane,” a government spokesman said.

“Looking ahead, inflation should continue to ease in the near term, as both external and domestic price pressures are expected to abate further amid subdued economic conditions, and food inflation is set to recede visibly against a high base of comparison.”

Separate data from the statistical office showed that the current account deficit came in at HK$9.03 billion in the first quarter versus a surplus of HK$41.7 billion in the previous quarter.

In the same quarter previous year, the current account surplus was HK$29.1 billion.

The latest drop in the current account balance was mainly due to a decrease in the services surplus and in the net inflow of primary income, partly offset by a decrease in the goods deficit, the agency said.

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