Inflation at 1.7% in January

Consumer prices increased 1.7% year-on-year in January, a smaller increase than that registered in December 2023, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.


Netting out the effects of the Government’s one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate was 0.8%, also lower than that seen in December.


The department noted that the smaller increase was mainly due to the timing of the Lunar New Year last year, which fell in January, resulting in a high comparison base, in particular food prices. 


Compared with January last year, price increases were recorded in the following categories: alcoholic drinks and tobacco; clothing and footwear; meals out and takeaway food; housing; miscellaneous services; miscellaneous goods; and transport.


By contrast, year-on-year price decreases for electricity, gas and water, basic food, and durable goods were recorded.


The Government said the underlying consumer price inflation moderated visibly in January, partly due to the base effect stemming from the different timing of the Lunar New Year.


It would thus be more meaningful to examine the figures for January and February combined, when available, to assess the underlying inflation situation.


It noted that prices of basic food fell from a year earlier given the high base of comparison, and those of energy-related items declined further.


Prices of meals out and takeaway food, and clothing and footwear saw relatively fast increases, while price pressures on other major components remained broadly in check.


Looking ahead, the Government said overall inflation should remain moderate in the near term, and that domestic costs may face some upward pressures as the economy continues to grow. It added that external price pressures should continue to ease.

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