Vegetable and fruit prices in Taiwan were 20 percent higher in the first 10 months of 2016 from a year earlier, pushing the overall consumer price index (CPI) higher, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said Tuesday.
In the 10-month period, the CPI rose 1.30 percent year-on-year and food prices were up 5.18 percent.
During the same period, vegetable prices soared 21.23 percent and fruit prices rose 20.33 percent, largely because of bad weather and in particular several typhoons that hit agricultural areas hard.
The food price increase for the 10-month period was the highest since the first 10 months of 2008, when they rose 8.94 percent, the DGBAS said.
The increase in vegetable prices was the highest since 2012, when they were up 30.17 percent, while the fruit price rise was the highest since 1992, when they were up 27.20 percent, the DGBAS added.
In October alone, overall inflation was 1.70 percent, with food prices up 5.24 percent, the DGBAS data showed.
The data showed that vegetable prices jumped 24.20 percent and fruit prices gained 7.83 percent in October from a year earlier because of damage from typhoons.
The DGBAS said that due to the vegetable price spike, a household with monthly expenses of NT$60,000 (US$1,905) spent an additional NT$539 on vegetables on average in October, compared with the same period of last year.
While food prices in October trended higher, living costs fell 0.32 percent from a year earlier in the month with natural gas and electricity rates down 10.37 percent and 9.65 percent year-on-year, respectively, the DGBAS said.
The basket of 17 government-monitored household necessities, including rice, pork, bread, eggs, sugar, cooking oil, shampoo and toilet paper, rose 1.89 percent year-on-year in October after a 0.70 percent increase in September.
Tsai Yu-tai (???), deputy chief of the DGBAS Department of Statistics, said core CPI, which excludes vegetables and fruit, rose 0.96 percent, indicating that consumer prices here continued to grow in a mild and stable manner.
In the first 10 months of this year, core CPI rose 0.84 percent from a year earlier, the DGBAS said.
The wholesale price index (CPI) fell 1.88 percent in October, the 26th consecutive month the WPI has moved lower but the decline was the smallest since October 2014, when the WPI fell 1.38 percent, the DGBAS said.
The government agency said the fall in the WPI in October largely reflected cheaper imported industrial and agricultural raw materials, which were down 2.24 percent from a year earlier.
In the first 10 months of this year, the WPI fell 3.71 percent from a year earlier, according to the DGBAS.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel