Hong Kong April Inflation Rate at 14-Month High of 2.9%

The annual inflation rate in Hong Kong rose to 2.9 percent in April 2019 from 2.1 percent in the previous month and above market expectations of 2.1 percent. It was the highest inflation rate since February last year, mainly boosted by housing due to a lower ceiling of rates concession and inbound and outbound transport fares.

Year-on-year, prices went up further for transport (2.7 percent from 2 percent in March); housing (4.3 percent from 2.9 percent), namely private housing rent (3.9 percent from 2.2 percent); and miscellaneous services (3.1 percent from 1.1 percent). Additionally, cost dropped less for electricity, gas and water (-4.3 percent from -5.4 percent) and durable goods (-2.1 percent from -2.4 percent).

Meanwhile, prices slowed for food (3 percent from 3.1 percent), in particular meals bought away from home (2.2 percent from 2.3 percent) and other food (4.6 percent from 4.7 percent); miscellaneous goods (1.9 percent from 2.1 percent); and alcoholic drinks and tobacco (2.3 percent from 2.5 percent). Also, cost of clothing and footwear fell(-1 percent from 0.3 percent).

Underlying consumer inflation, which excludes the effects of one-off government relief measures such as tax cuts for lower income individuals; extra allowance for the elderly, child & disabled people; students' grants increased to 3 percent in April from 2.4 percent in the prior month.

"Looking ahead, inflation will likely stay moderate in the near term. The earlier easing in fresh-letting residential rentals should have a mitigating effect in the coming months. External price pressures have also eased recently. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely, particularly the impact on the lower-income people", a Government spokesman said.

Hong Kong April Inflation Rate at 14-Month High of 2.9%

Census and Statistics Department | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com
5/23/2019 8:54:53 AM