Feb sees 0.3% rise in inflation

Overall consumer prices in February rose 0.3% year-on-year, smaller than the 1.9% increase in January, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Netting out the effects of all the Government's one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of change in February’s underlying inflation rate was -0.1%, smaller than January’s -0.5%.   The department said this was mainly due to the increases in the costs for meals bought away from home and household services charges.   February saw year-on-year price drops for clothing and footwear, transport, durable goods, alcoholic drinks and tobacco, housing and miscellaneous goods.   Prices for electricity, gas and water, food, miscellaneous services as well as meals bought away from home went up.   Taking the first two months of the year together to neutralise the distortions caused by the timing of the Lunar New Year, underlying consumer prices registered a small year-on-year decline of 0.3%.   The Government explained the decline mainly reflected the narrowed increase in food prices and the enlarged fall in private housing rentals.   Meanwhile, price pressures on other major CPI components remained very mild.
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