Taipei-Taiwan's consumer price index (CPI) in December rose 1.21 percent from a year earlier largely due to a spike in the price of tobacco, fuel and medical care services, as well as fish, dairy and meat products, government statistics showed Friday.
Month-on-month the CPI fell 0.15 percent in December, though after seasonal adjustments, the figure rose 0.18 percent, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said.
For the whole year of 2017, Taiwan's CPI increased 0.62 percent year-on-year, which matched the estimate made by the DGBAS in November.
Mei Chia-yuan (???), deputy director of the DGBAS Statistics Department, said due to a hike in tobacco taxes in Taiwan, the prices of the product rose 32.2 percent from a year earlier in December, which served as one of the drivers of the increase in local consumer prices that month.
In December, fuel prices rose 18.40 percent due to an increase in international crude prices, while medical care expenses also gained 1.59 percent in the wake of higher insurance rates under the national health insurance scheme, the DGBAS said.
It added that food prices rose 0.06 percent from a year earlier in December with the prices of fish, dairy, grains and meat up 4.66 percent, 4.43 percent, 2.92 percent and 2.86 percent, respectively.
But the prices of fruits and eggs fell 16.40 percent and 9.76 percent, respectively, from a year earlier, offsetting the increase in food prices, the DGBAS said.
The core CPI, which excludes fruits, vegetables and energy, rose 1.57 percent year-on-year in December, 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 2.99 percent from a year earlier in December, up from a 2.08 percent year-on-year rise in November, according to the DGBAS.
Based on the latest CPI data, a household with monthly spending of NT$60,000 (US$2,033) spent NT$318 less on fruits and NT$114 more on fuel expenses in December, compared to a year earlier, the DGBAS said.
In December, the wholesale price index (WPI) also rose 0.24 percent from a year earlier due to more expensive base metal, crude oil, coal and chemical products, according to the DGBAS.
It said the local import price index in Taiwan dollar terms rose 0.54 percent from a year earlier and gained 7.27 percent in U.S. dollar terms in December, while the export price index fell 2.25 percent in Taiwan dollars, but rose 4.33 percent in U.S. dollars.
In 2017, the core CPI rose 1.03 percent from a year earlier, while the WPI gained 0.90 percent year-on-year, the DGBAS said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel