SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s producer prices rose for the second straight month in July due to rising prices of oil goods and agricultural products, central bank data showed Friday.
The producer price index, a barometer of future consumer inflation, rose 0.2 percent last month from a month earlier, compared with a 0.5 percent on-month gain in June, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
It marked the second straight month of rises after the price index stayed flat in May from the previous month.
Compared with a year earlier, the producer prices fell 0.8 percent in July, after a 1 percent on-year fall in June.
The BOK said the recovery of global oil prices pushed up the prices of industrial goods, including petrochemical products.
But in July, the prices of agricultural goods shot up 6 percent from the previous month due mainly to the country’s longest-ever monsoon season.
South Korea underwent a record-long rainy season this year that began June 24 and lasted for 54 days in the central part of the country.
“The impact of the rainy season will also affect the prices of agricultural goods in August,” a BOK official said.
South Korea’s inflationary pressure has remained weak so far this year due mainly to low oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.
But consumer prices rose 0.3 percent in July from a year earlier, marking the first upturn in three months as consumer sentiment recovered.
Last month, the BOK froze the key rate at a record low of 0.5 percent after cutting it by a quarter percentage point in May.