Hong Kong Inflation Eases More Than Forecast

Hong Kong's consumer price inflation eased more-than-expected in October, after accelerating sharply in the previous month, data released by the Census and Statistics Department showed on Monday.

Consumer prices climbed 1.8 percent year-over-year in October, slower than the 4.4 percent increase in September, which was the strongest inflation rate since March 2015.

Economists had forecast inflation to ease to 2.0 percent in October.

The larger increase in September 2022 was mainly due to the low base of comparison resulting from the waiver of public housing rentals by the Hong Kong Housing Authority in September 2021, the agency said.

Charges for electricity, gas, and water grew the most by 13.4 percent annually in October, and clothing and footwear prices registered an increase of 4.5 percent.

Food prices alone grew 3.4 percent from last year, while housing costs rose marginally by 0.1 percent.

Netting out the effects of all the government's one-off relief measures, underlying inflation eased slightly to 1.7 percent from 1.8 percent.

The average monthly rate of increase for the 3-month period ending October was 0.2 percent.

"Notwithstanding the intensive external price pressures, overall inflation should remain moderate in the near term amid largely mild domestic cost pressures," a government spokesman said.

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