S Korea Inflation Hits 13-Year High

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By Kwanwoo Jun

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South Korea’s inflation accelerated in April to hit the highest level in more than 13 years, bolstering the case for the central bank to tighten policy further.

The benchmark consumer-price index rose 4.8% from a year earlier, compared with March’s 4.
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1% gain, the statistical office said Tuesday.

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The latest reading–the highest since October 2008 in the country–beat a median market forecast for a 4.4% increase for April.

Higher prices of goods and services as well as rising utility bills added to inflationary pressure sharply, already heightened by surging oil prices, the office said.

Compared with the prior month, the index rose 0.7%–the same pace as in March–and beat the median forecast of a 0.4% increase for April.

Core CPI, which strips out volatile energy and food prices, rose 3.1% from a year earlier and 0.4% from a month ago, faster than the gains of 2.9% and 0.1%, respectively, in March.

The country’s headline inflation remained above the Bank of Korea’s 2% annual target for a 13th straight month.

The central bank has said it expects inflation to exceed its earlier forecast of 3.1% for 2022.

The bank has signaled more interest-rate increases in the coming months after raising rates four times already since August 2021 to curb inflation.

Write to Kwanwoo Jun at [email protected]

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Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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