Price rise is more than expected

Business | Jasmine Poon 24 May 2019

Hong Kong's overall consumer prices rose by 2.9 percent in April over the same month a year earlier, higher than the 2.2 percent expected by the market, and the 2.1 percent increase in March.

It was attributed to a lower ceiling of rates concession, from HK$2,500 per quarter for each tenement to HK$1,500 starting from April, according to the Census and Statistics Department.

After discounting the effects of all government one-off relief measures, increased charges for both package tours and inbound-outbound transport fares boosted the Composite CPI from 2.6 percent in March to 2.9 percent in April.

Key increases in the Composite CPI in April are in food (excluding meals bought away from home) by 4.6 percent and housing by 4.3 percent.

A larger year-on-year increase from April 2018 in the charges for package tours is due to the late arrival of the Easter holidays in mid-April compared to late March last year.

In contrast, the Composite CPI for electricity, gas and water decreased by 4.3 percent.

Taking the first four months of 2019 together, the department sees an overall increase in the Composite CPI of 2.4 percent from last year.

The department forecasts inflation to stay moderate in the near term, mitigated by the earlier easing in fresh-letting residential rentals, and lessening of external price pressures.

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