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HK January consumer prices up 2.6%
2006-02-21 06:28:20 Xinhua English
HONG KONG, Feb. 21(Xinhuanet)-- January saw a faster year-on-year consumer price surge in Hong Kong, with overall consumer prices up 2.6 percent over a year earlier, larger than December's 1.8 percent growth, Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department said here on Tuesday.

The larger year-on-year surge was mainly attributable to increases in the charges for package tours, prices of basic foodstuffs and inbound and outbound transport fares around the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in January this year but in February last year.

Also contributing were the larger increases in private housing rentals and the price of jewelry.

Discounting the Lunar New Year effect, the rise in consumer prices in January would have been much more moderate.

As the economy has been expanding briskly, there will continue to be upward pressures on domestic prices. Yet with the expansion in production capacity brought about by rising productivity and with the strengthening of the US dollar over the past year, such upward pressures will be mitigated to some extent.

In January, year-on-year increases were recorded for miscellaneous goods(up 5.7 percent), housing(3.7 percent), food(excluding meals bought away from home)(3.4 percent), miscellaneous services(3.3 percent), electricity, gas and water(3.2 percent), transport(2.7 percent) and meals bought away from home(1.4 percent).

On the other hand, prices of clothing and footwear recorded a 2.4 percent year-on-year decline, which was followed by durable goods, down 1.7 percent, and alcohol and tobacco, down 0.3 percent.

For the quarter ending January, the average monthly rate of increase in the seasonally adjusted composite consumer price indexwas 0.2 percent, same as that for the quarter ending December.

For the quarter ending January, the composite consumer price index rose 2 percent over a year earlier. For the 12 months endingJanuary, the composite consumer price index was on average 1.4 percent higher than in the preceding 12-month period. Enditem

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