DOUBLE WHAMMY:Last month’s cold snap that damaged crops and shrunk supplies, combined with the Lunar New Year shopping demand, drove up prices
Date: Feb 06, 2016
By: Crystal Hsu / Staff reporter
The nation’s consumer price index (CPI) gained 0.81 percent last month from a year earlier, rising at the fastest pace in 14 months, as Lunar New Year demand drove up food costs, and the effect might be more evident this month, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
The mild increase in the government’s inflation gauge gives the central bank room to cut interest rates next month to stimulate the economy without concerns over runaway inflation.
“Prices of vegetables, fruit, fishery products and home appliances all rose last month compared with a year earlier, underpinning the CPI increase,” DGBAS Deputy Director Tsai Yu-tai (蔡鈺泰) said at a news conference.
Taiwanese celebrate the week-long Lunar New Year holiday with family reunions and feasts, driving up food costs throughout the season.
The cold snap last month also contributed to the CPI’s increase, as it damaged crops, shrinking supplies, Tsai said. [FULL STORY]