Inflation rises 2.97% in February on back of new year's effect
CNATAIPEI -- Taiwan's consumer price index (CPI) rose 2.97 percent in February from a year earlier as the Lunar New Year holiday led to higher prices for food and certain services during the month, the government said yesterday.
March 6, 2013, 12:25 am TWN
The February increase was the biggest since August 2012, when the CPI grew 3.43 percent year-on-year, according to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).
Fish and meat prices rose on higher demand, and the costs of certain services, such as baby-sitting, taxi rides and travel, went up as they normally do during the extended holiday, the DGBAS said.
Also fueling inflation in February were fruit, fuel and household electricity prices that remained high relative to year-earlier levels, the DGBAS said.
On a month-on-month basis, the CPI in February rose 0.48 percent from a month earlier.
The DGBAS said it expected that with the Lunar New Year holiday no longer a factor, inflationary pressures in March should ease and keep inflation under 2 percent if weather conditions remain stable.
In February, food prices as a whole rose 2.92 percent from a year earlier with fruit, fish and meat prices up 21.09 percent, 4.41 percent and 4.31 percent, respectively, the DGBAS said.
Fuel prices rose 12.70 percent and transportation fees gained 3.37 percent from a year earlier, while fixed-line and mobile phone rates and Internet service charges fell 1.49 percent from a year ago, the agency said.
Living costs in February gained 1.36 percent year-on-year, largely reflecting a 6.85 percent rise in natural gas prices, it added.
The CPI core index, which excludes vegetable, fruit and energy prices, rose 2.21 percent in February from a year earlier, while the wholesale price index (WPI) fell 2.20 percent year-on-year due to lower base metal, electronics and optoelectronics prices.
In the first two months of this year, Taiwan's CPI rose 2.05 percent from a year earlier, while the core CPI gained 1.25 percent and the WPI fell 2.99 percent, the DGBAS said.