Slower inflation

In November 2023, South Korea’s consumer price index stood at 112.74 (100 based on 2020), up 3.3% year-on-year. This is according to the latest data released by the Office for National Statistics, which suggests that inflation slowed down somewhat this month after a steady expansion in the previous three months.

a roll of toilet paper

Annualized inflation

In 2023, consumer price inflation remained in the 2% range, reaching 2.7% in June and 2.3% in July. However, the rate of increase gradually increased in August (3.4%), September (3.7%), and October (3.8%).

Fresh food prices, one of the main drivers of consumer price inflation in October, rose 12.7% year-over-year. This exceeds last month’s gain of 12.1% and is the highest increase in 14 months since September of last year.

Inflation by item

  • Agricultural products: up 6.6% year-over-year
  • Some items like apples, tomatoes, and scallions saw double-digit gains
  • Rice: up 10.6% year-over-year
  • Industrial goods: up 2.4% year-over-year
  • Oil: down 5.1% as international oil prices stabilize
  • Processed foods: up 5.1% year-over-year, with milk and ice cream prices rising the most
  • Electricity, gas, and water: up 9.6% year-over-year, the same increase as in October
  • Service prices: personal services up 4.2%, food prices up 4.8

Cost of Living Index

Core inflation (excluding agricultural products and oil) rose 3.3%, while the OECD measure of core inflation, excluding food and energy, rose 3.0%. The cost of living index is up 4.0%, reflecting an increase in inflation.

Kim Bo-kyung, head of Statistics Korea’s Economic Trends and Statistics Division, told media outlets that falling petroleum prices and slower growth in durable and textile goods were the main factors behind the month-on-month decline. However, he noted that agricultural prices remain high.

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