CPI rises 0.1 percent in June year-on-year

The China Post staff

Taiwan’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.1 percent in June, due chiefly to the increased cost of health care and clothing, said the Cabinet-level Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) yesterday. The CPI registered at 105.25 in June, a rise of 0.1 percent from the same period last year, the statistics bureau said. The CPI for January to June went up by 0.61 percent as compared to the same period last year, DGBAS said. The wholesale price index was 124.34 in June, up 5.54 from the same period last year. Cumulatively, the figure for January to June was up 7.11 percent from the same period last year. The island’s inflation may rise in the second half of 2007, as the government anticipates accelerating economic growth and a decline in the nation’s currency, which would drive up the cost of imported goods. Central bank policy makers in June raised the benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 3.125 percent, the 12th straight increase.

The CPI for June was released after close of trading on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The local benchmark stock index TAIEX rose 0.9 percent to a seven-year high of 9148.78. The Taiwan dollar declined and closed at NT$32.79 against the U.S. currency. Import prices rose 7.2 percent in June from a year earlier, yesterday’s report showed.

An increase of 4.67 percent in the cost of health care contributed heavily to the rise in June’s CPI. Also fueling the CPI’s increase was a rise of 2.54 percent in the cost of clothing and 1.55 percent in the cost of housing. Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy costs, increased 0.92 percent in June from a year earlier after rising 0.64 percent in May.