Taipei Taiwan's consumer price index (CPI) for February rose 2.19 percent from a year earlier on the back of Lunar New Year holiday effects which boosted certain service fees such as baby sitting charges and tourism expenses, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said Wednesday.
Data compiled by the DGBAS showed the February CPI rose 0.93 percent from a month earlier, and after seasonal adjustments gained 0.22 percent.
The year-on-year growth in the February CPI was the highest since January 2017, when the index grew 2.24 percent from a year earlier, also caused by Lunar New Year holiday effects.
The latest Lunar New Year holiday fell in February so many parents observed the tradition of giving money gifts to babysitters, while tourism expenses increased in reflection of peak season in the local tourism industry, the DGBAS said.
As a result, prices in miscellaneous items including payments to babysitters rose 8.93 percent from a year earlier, while education/entertainment expenses such as tourism charges grew 1.81 percent year-on-year, the DGBAS added.
Food prices for February rose 0.97 percent with the price of vegetables, fish, dairy products, eggs and meat up 27.63 percent, 7.44 percent, 4.86 percent, 4.54 percent and 3.32 percent, respectively, as a result of rising demand during the Lunar New Year holiday season, the government agency said.
However, fruit prices bucked the upturn, falling 28.81 percent from a year earlier on a relatively high comparison basis over the same period last year, which offset growth in the entire food segment, the agency added.
Core CPI, which excludes vegetables, fruit and energy, gained 2.39 percent from February last year, the DGBAS said.
The cost of a basket of 17 government-monitored household necessities, including rice, pork, bread, eggs, sugar, cooking oil, shampoo and toilet paper, rose 3.22 percent from a year earlier in February, marginally up from a 3.27 percent year-on-year rise in January, according to the DGBAS.
In the first two months of this year, the local CPI rose 1.54 percent from a year earlier with core CPI increasing 1.61 percent, the DGBAS said.
Assessing the CPI for the two months as a whole, local consumer prices remained stable, the DGBAS added.
In February, the wholesale price index (WPI) fell 0.27 percent from a year earlier as a fall in export prices canceled out rising import prices, the DGBAS said.
The DGBAS said the local import price index in Taiwan dollar terms rose 0.55 percent from a year earlier and gained 6.06 percent in U.S. dollars, while the export price index fell 2.41 percent in Taiwan dollars, but rose 2.95 percent in U.S. dollars, the DGBAS added.
Over the past two months, the local WPI fell 0.50 percent from a year earlier, the DGBAS said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel