Consumer Price Indices for July 2017
Consumer Price Indices for July 2017
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     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (August 22) the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for July 2017. According to the Composite CPI, overall consumer prices rose by 2.0% in July 2017 over the same month a year earlier, slightly larger than the corresponding increase (1.9%) in June 2017. 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 July 2017 was also 2.0%, slightly larger than that in June 2017 (1.9%), mainly due to the increases in the prices of women's outerclothing.

     On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average monthly rate of increase in the Composite CPI for the three-month period from May to July 2017 was 0.1%, and that for the three-month period from April to June 2017 was 0.2%. Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the average monthly rate of increase in the Composite CPI for the three-month period from May to July 2017 was 0.1%, and that for the three-month period from April to June 2017 was 0.2%.

     Analysed by sub-index, the year-on-year rates of increase in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 2.5%, 1.8% and 1.7% respectively in July 2017, as compared to 2.3%, 1.8% and 1.8% respectively in June 2017. 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 2.4%, 1.8% and 1.7% respectively in July 2017, as compared to 2.3%, 1.7% and 1.8% respectively in June 2017.

     On a seasonally adjusted basis, for the three-month period from May to July 2017, the average monthly rates of change in the seasonally adjusted CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 0.1%, 0.1% and virtually nil respectively. The corresponding rates of change for the three-month period from April to June 2017 were all 0.2%. Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the corresponding average monthly rates of change in the seasonally adjusted CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) for the three-month period from May to July 2017 were 0.1%, 0.1% and virtually nil respectively, and the corresponding rates of change for the three-month period from April to June 2017 were all 0.2%.

     Amongst the various CPI components, year-on-year increases in prices were recorded in July 2017 for transport (3.0% in the Composite CPI and 2.0% in the CPI(A)), housing (2.7% in the Composite CPI and 3.8% in the CPI(A)), meals bought away from home (2.7% in the Composite CPI and 2.8% in the CPI(A)), food (excluding meals bought away from home) (2.2% in both the Composite CPI and CPI(A)), miscellaneous services (1.4% in the Composite CPI and 1.6% in the CPI(A)), clothing and footwear (0.9% in the Composite CPI and 1.0% in the CPI(A)) as well as miscellaneous goods (0.5% in the Composite CPI and 1.5% in the CPI(A)).

     On the other hand, year-on-year decrease in prices was recorded in July 2017 for durable goods (-3.6% in the Composite CPI and -4.1% in the CPI(A)).

     As for electricity, gas and water, the Composite CPI fell by 0.7% over a year earlier but the CPI(A) rose by 0.3%. As for alcoholic drinks and tobacco, the Composite CPI fell by 0.2% over a year earlier but the CPI(A) rose by 0.3%.

     Taking the first seven months of 2017 together, the Composite CPI rose by 1.4% over a year earlier. The corresponding increases in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 1.4%, 1.3% and 1.4%. Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the Composite CPI, CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) rose by 1.7%, 2.0%, 1.6% and 1.6% respectively in the first seven months of 2017 over a year earlier.

     For the three months ended July 2017, the Composite CPI rose by 2.0% over a year earlier, while the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) rose by 2.4%, 1.8% and 1.8% respectively. The corresponding increases after netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures were 1.9%, 2.3%, 1.8% and 1.8% respectively.

     For the 12 months ended July 2017, the Composite CPI was on average 1.7% higher than that in the preceding 12-month period. The respective increases in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 2.0%, 1.5% and 1.5%. The corresponding increases after netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures were 1.9%, 2.2%, 1.8% and 1.7% respectively.

Commentary

     A Government spokesman said that consumer price inflation stayed moderate in July. Looking ahead, the upside risks to inflation should remain contained in the near term, given the low imported inflation and moderate local cost pressures. The Government will continue to monitor the inflation developments closely, particularly its impact on the lower-income people.

Further information

     The CPIs and year-on-year rates of change at section level for July 2017 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 Government's one-off relief 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 three 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 July 2017 issue of the "Monthly Report on the Consumer Price Index" (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp270.jsp?productCode=B1060001), the time series of CPIs at detailed level (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp270.jsp?productCode=D5600001) and the time series of CPIs at COICOP division level (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp270.jsp?productCode=D5600002) free of charge at the website of the C&SD.

     For enquiries about the CPIs, please contact the Consumer Price Index Section of the C&SD (Tel: 3903 7374 or email: cpi@censtatd.gov.hk).
 
Ends/Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:30
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