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Taiwan CPI Up 1.21%

For the whole of 2017 the CPI increased 0.62% year-on-year.For the whole of 2017 the CPI increased 0.62% year-on-year.

Taiwan’s consumer price index in December rose 1.21% 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.

Month-on-month the CPI fell 0.15% in December, though after seasonal adjustments, the figure rose 0.18%, the directorate general of budget, accounting and statistics said, CNA reported.

For the whole of 2017, Taiwan’s CPI increased 0.62% 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% 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% due to an increase in international crude prices, while medical care expenses also gained 1.59% in the wake of higher insurance rates under the national health insurance scheme, the DGBAS said.

It added that food prices rose 0.06% from a year earlier in December with the prices of fish, dairy, grains and meat up 4.66%, 4.43%, 2.92% and 2.86%, respectively. But the prices of fruits and eggs fell 16.40% and 9.76%, 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% 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% from a year earlier in December, up from a 2.08% 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 ($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 also rose 0.24% 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% from a year earlier and gained 7.27% in US dollar terms in December, while the export price index fell 2.25% in Taiwan dollars, but rose 4.33% in US dollars.

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