Consumer Price Indices for June 2011
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     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (July 21) the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for June 2011.  According to the Composite CPI, overall consumer prices rose by 5.6% in June 2011 over the same month a year earlier, larger than the corresponding increase (5.2%) in May 2011.  Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of increase in the Composite CPI (i.e. the underlying inflation rate) in June 2011 was 5.5%, larger than that in May (5.1%), mainly due to the enlarged increases in private housing rentals, as well as the charges for household services and the prices of pork.  

     On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average monthly rate of increase in the Composite CPI for the 3-month period from April to June 2011 was 0.6%, the same as that for the 3-month period from March to May 2011.  Netting out the effects of all Government’s one-off relief measures, the average monthly rate of increase in the Composite CPI for the 3-month period from April to June 2011 was 0.6%, the same as that for the 3-month period from March to May 2011.  

     Analysed by sub-index, the year-on-year rates of increase in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 5.9%, 5.6% and 5.4% respectively in June 2011, which compared to 5.6%, 5.2% and 4.9% respectively in May.  Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rates of increase in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 5.6%, 5.5% and 5.4% respectively in June 2011, which compared to 5.3%, 5.1% and 4.8% respectively in May.  

     On a seasonally adjusted basis, for the 3-month period from April to June 2011, the average monthly rates of increase in the seasonally adjusted CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 0.5%, 0.6% and 0.6% respectively.  The corresponding rates of increase for the 3-month period from March to May 2011 were 0.6%, 0.6% and 0.5%.  Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the corresponding average monthly rates of increase in the seasonally adjusted CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) for the 3-month period from April to June 2011 were 0.5%, 0.6% and 0.6% respectively, and for the 3-month period from March to May 2011 were 0.6%, 0.6% and 0.5% respectively.  

     Amongst the various CPI components, year-on-year increases in prices were recorded in June 2011 for alcoholic drinks and tobacco (19.9% in the Composite CPI and 22.2% in the CPI(A), mainly due to the increase in tobacco duty by 41.5%); food (excluding meals bought away from home) (10.5% in the Composite CPI and 10.6% in the CPI(A)); electricity, gas and water (8.2% in the Composite CPI and 11.3% in the CPI(A)); clothing and footwear (6.7% in the Composite CPI and 6.6% in the CPI(A)); housing (6.5% in the Composite CPI and 6.0% in the CPI(A)); meals bought away from home (5.2% in the Composite CPI and 5.4% in the CPI(A)); transport (5.0% in the Composite CPI and 3.6% in the CPI(A)); miscellaneous goods (4.5% in the Composite CPI and 3.6% in the CPI(A)) and miscellaneous services (3.3% in the Composite CPI and 2.0% in the CPI(A)).  

     On the other hand, year-on-year decrease in prices was recorded in June 2011 for durable goods (-3.7% in the Composite CPI and -4.1% in the CPI(A)).  

     For the first half of 2011 as a whole, the Composite CPI rose by 4.5% over a year earlier.  The corresponding increases in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 4.8%, 4.4% and 4.3%.  Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the Composite CPI, CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) rose by 4.4%, 4.5%, 4.3% and 4.3% respectively in the first half of 2011 as a whole over a year earlier.
  
     In the second quarter of 2011, the Composite CPI rose by 5.2% over a year earlier, while the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) rose by 5.5%, 5.1% and 4.8% respectively.  The corresponding increases after netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures were 5.0%, 5.2%, 5.0% and 4.8% respectively.
  
     For the 12 months ended June 2011, the Composite CPI was on average 3.5% higher than in the preceding 12-month period.  The corresponding change in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 3.7%, 3.4% and 3.3%.  The corresponding rates of change after netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures were 3.3%, 3.4%, 3.2%, 3.2%.
  
     The new 2009/10-based CPI series, as was first announced by the C&SD on April 28, 2011, is compiled on the basis of the expenditure patterns obtained from the Household Expenditure Survey (HES) conducted during October 2009 to September 2010.  It replaces the old 2004/05-based series for analysing consumer price changes.  The old series will continue to be compiled in parallel with the new series until the reference month of December 2011.  It is an established practice in Hong Kong for the HES to be conducted and for the CPI series to be rebased once every five years.  Both the old and the new series of CPIs have been exhibiting a similar trend in recent months.

Commentary

     A Government spokesman says that inflationary pressures remained notable.  Private housing rentals and food prices were the two major driving forces accounting about 70% of the year-on-year rate of increase in the underlying Composite CPI in June, 5.5%.

     The spokesman comments further that the economy will continue to face with upward price pressures in the coming months.  While global food and commodity prices are likely to stay elevated, domestic cost pressures may also increase as a result of the brisk expansion of the local economy since early 2010.  The trend of rising inflation in the local economy, being part of a region-wide phenomenon, has so far been in line with expectations.  The Government will remain vigilant on the inflation situation, particularly its impact on the lower-income people.

Further information

     The CPIs and year-on-year rates of change at section level for June 2011 are shown in Table 1.  The time series on the year-on-year rates of change in the CPIs before and after removing the effects of one-off measures are shown in Table 2.  For discerning the latest trend in consumer prices, it is also useful to look at the changes in the seasonally adjusted CPIs.  The corresponding time series on the average monthly rates of change during the latest 3 months for the seasonally adjusted CPIs are shown in Table 3.  The rates of change in the original and the seasonally adjusted Composite CPI and the underlying inflation rate are presented graphically in Chart 1.

     More detailed CPI data (including year-on-year comparison, month-to-month comparison and seasonally adjusted data series) are available in the monthly reports.  Users can download the June 2011 issue of the Monthly Report on the Consumer Price Index free of charge at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/products_and_services/products/publications/statistical_report/prices_household_expenditure/index.jsp).
  
     For enquiries about the CPIs, please contact the Consumer Price Index Section of the C&SD at telephone No. 2805 6403 or email address cpi@censtatd.gov.hk.

Ends/Thursday, July 21, 2011
Issued at HKT 16:31

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