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HK sees drop in overall CPI

HONG Kong's overall consumer prices dipped by 0.9 percent year on year last month, its Census and Statistics Department said yesterday.

The year-on-year rates of change in the Consumer Price Index last month were affected by various relief measures issued by the Hong Kong government, in particular the implementation of an electricity charge subsidy.

Netting out the effects of all the government's one-off relief measures, the Composite CPI, which is compiled to reflect the impact of consumer price changes on the household sector as a whole, registered a year-on-year rise of 0.4 percent last month, smaller than the 1.3-percent jump in May, mainly due to moderation in year-on-year increases in food prices and private housing rents.

A government spokesman said that consumer prices remained on an easing trend, as local wages and rents continued to adjust to the economic downturn while external price pressures were absent.

He noted that for last month in particular, the year-on-year decline in the Composite CPI also reflected the effect of the electricity subsidy which pulled down the annual rate of change in Composite CPI by 1.2 percentage points. Having netted out this effect, the underlying Composite CPI still rose modestly over a year earlier.

With the economy still weak and many of Hong Kong's trading partners experiencing price declines, price pressures from the local and external fronts are likely to subside further in the period ahead, the spokesman said.


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