Consumer prices increased 2.4% year-on-year in December, a slightly smaller decline than that registered in November, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.

Netting out the effects of the Government’s one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate was 1.4%, also slightly lower than that seen in November.

The department noted that the smaller increase was mainly due to the decreases in the prices of fresh vegetables as well as the larger drop in electricity charges.

Compared with December last year, price increases were recorded in the following categories: alcoholic drinks and tobacco; clothing and footwear; meals out and takeaway food; miscellaneous services; transport; housing; miscellaneous goods; and basic food.

By contrast, year-on-year price decreases for electricity, gas and water, and durable goods were recorded.

The Government said underlying consumer price inflation remained moderate in December.

It noted that prices for meals out and takeaway food, and for clothing and footwear, had continued to rise noticeably over a year earlier, while price pressures on other major components remained broadly in check.

Looking ahead, the Government said overall inflation might stay moderate in the near term and that external price pressures are expected to recede. It added that domestic business costs could face upward pressures as the economy continues to recover.


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