SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s producer prices rose for the fourth straight month in September, due largely to increased costs of agricultural, livestock and fishery goods, central bank data showed Wednesday.
The producer price index, a barometer of future consumer inflation, inched up 0.1 percent in September from the previous month, slowing from a 0.5 percent on-month gain in August, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
It marked the fourth consecutive month of increase after the price index stayed flat in May from the previous month.
Compared with a year earlier, the producer prices declined 0.4 percent last month after a 0.5 percent on-year fall in August.
The prices of agricultural products rose due to the impacts of typhoons and the rainy season while costs for fishery and livestock products climbed on stay-at-home consumers’ high demand amid tight virus curbs, according to the central bank.
The prices of agricultural goods rose 7.1 percent on-month in September, slowing from a 16 percent on-month gain in August, affected by the country’s longest-ever monsoon season.
The prices of livestock and fishery goods gained 4.2 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, from the previous month, the BOK said.
South Korea’s inflationary pressure has remained weak so far this year due mainly to low oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Consumer prices climbed 1 percent on-year in September on a rise in farm goods prices, the sharpest gain in six months. But they are still below the BOK’s 2 percent inflation target over the medium term.
In October, the BOK froze the key interest rate at a record low of 0.5 percent after cutting a total of 75 basis points in March and May amid the virus outbreak.