Consumer Price Indices for January 2014
***************************************

     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (February 21) the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for January 2014. According to the Composite CPI, overall consumer prices rose by 4.6% in January 2014 over the same month a year earlier, larger than the corresponding increase (4.3%) in December 2013. 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 January 2014 was 4.3%, larger than that in December 2013 (3.9%), mainly due to the larger increases in the charges for package tours around Lunar New Year.

     On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average monthly rate of increase in the Composite CPI for the 3-month period from November 2013 to January 2014 was 0.4%, and that for the 3-month period from October to December 2013 was 1.1%. 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 November 2013 to January 2014 was 0.4%, and that for the 3-month period from October to December 2013 was 0.2%.

     Analysed by sub-index, the year-on-year rates of increase in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 4.5%, 4.8% and 4.5% respectively in January 2014, which compared to 4.3%, 4.4% and 4.1% respectively in December 2013. 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 4.3%, 4.5% and 4.0% respectively in January 2014, which compared to 4.2%, 4.0% and 3.5% respectively in December 2013.

     On a seasonally adjusted basis, for the 3-month period from November 2013 to January 2014, the average monthly rates of increase in the seasonally adjusted CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were all 0.4%. The corresponding rates of increase for the 3-month period from October to December 2013 were 2.5%, 0.6% and 0.3%. 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 November 2013 to January 2014 were 0.3%, 0.4% and 0.4% respectively, and the corresponding rates of increase for the 3-month period from October to December 2013 were 0.2%, 0.3% and 0.3% respectively.

     Amongst the various CPI components, year-on-year increases in prices were recorded in January 2014 for miscellaneous services (6.9% in the Composite CPI and 5.5% in the CPI(A)); electricity, gas and water (6.1% in the Composite CPI and 6.6% in the CPI(A)); housing (5.8% in the Composite CPI and 5.3% in the CPI(A)); meals bought away from home (4.7% in the Composite CPI and 5.0% in the CPI(A)); food (excluding meals bought away from home) (3.4% in both the Composite CPI and CPI(A)); transport (3.0% in the Composite CPI and 3.3% in the CPI(A)); miscellaneous goods (2.9% in the Composite CPI and 4.6% in the CPI(A)); clothing and footwear (2.0% in both the Composite CPI and CPI(A)) and alcoholic drinks and tobacco (1.1% in the Composite CPI and 0.8% in the CPI(A)).

     On the other hand, year-on-year decrease in prices was recorded in January 2014 for durable goods (-3.8% in the Composite CPI and -3.9% in the CPI(A)).

     For the 3 months ended January 2014, the Composite CPI rose by 4.4% over a year earlier, while the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) rose by 4.4%, 4.5% and 4.2% respectively. The corresponding increases after netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures were 4.1%, 4.3%, 4.2% and 3.7% respectively.

     For the 12 months ended January 2014, the Composite CPI was on average 4.5% higher than in the preceding 12-month period. The respective increases in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 5.1%, 4.2% and 4.0%. The corresponding increases after netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures were 4.1%, 4.5%, 4.0% and 3.7% respectively.

Commentary

     A Government spokesman said that the year-on-year rate of underlying Composite CPI went up slightly in January, due mainly to the difference in timing of the Lunar New Year, which fell in late January and early February this year, but in mid-February last year. As such, it would be more meaningful to examine the figures for January and February combined, when available, in order to form a better judgment on the underlying inflation trend.

     The spokesman commented further that, looking ahead, the still-low imported inflation and the feed-through of the milder increases in fresh-letting residential rentals in 2013 should help contain the upside risks to inflation in the near term. The Government will monitor the inflation situation closely, particularly its impact on the lower-income people.

Further information

     The CPIs and year-on-year rates of change at section level for January 2014 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, seasonally adjusted data series and the CPIs by the Classification of Individual Consumption According to Purpose (COICOP)) are available in the monthly reports. Users can download the January 2014 issue of the Monthly Report on the Consumer Price Index free of charge at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp270.jsp?productCode=B1060001).

     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/Friday, February 21, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:30

NNNN

Under the same press release series:

Upcoming release date:

  • 21 Aug 2014

Related statistical subject(s):

Attachments
Tables and chart