Consumer Price Indices for January 2018
Consumer Price Indices for January 2018
***************************************
     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (February 22) the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for January 2018. According to the Composite CPI, overall consumer prices rose by 1.7% in January 2018 over the same month a year earlier, remaining virtually unchanged as compared to December 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 January 2018 also remained virtually unchanged at 1.7% as compared to December 2017.

     On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average monthly rate of increase in the Composite CPI for the three-month period from November 2017 to January 2018 was 0.2%, and that for the three-month period from October to December 2017 was 0.3%. 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 November 2017 to January 2018 was 0.2%, and that for the three-month period from October to December 2017 was 0.3%. 

     Analysed by sub-index, the year-on-year rates of increase in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 2.0%, 1.6% and 1.5% respectively in January 2018, as compared to 1.7%, 1.6% and 1.9% respectively in December 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 1.9%, 1.6% and 1.5% respectively in January 2018, as compared to 1.6%, 1.6% and 1.9% respectively in December 2017. 

     On a seasonally adjusted basis, for the three-month period from November 2017 to January 2018, the average monthly rates of increase in the seasonally adjusted CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were all 0.2%. The corresponding rates of increase for the three-month period from October to December 2017 were 0.2%, 0.3% 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 three-month period from November 2017 to January 2018 were all 0.2%, and the corresponding rates of increase for the three-month period from October to December 2017 were 0.2%, 0.3% and 0.3% respectively. 

     Amongst the various CPI components, year-on-year increases in prices were recorded in January 2018 for electricity, gas and water (10.2% in the Composite CPI and 10.8% in the CPI(A), mainly due to the low base of comparison resulted from the special fuel rebate in electricity starting from January last year); clothing and footwear (2.6% in the Composite CPI and 2.3% in the CPI(A)); meals bought away from home (2.5% in the Composite CPI and 2.7% in the CPI(A)); housing (2.5% in the Composite CPI and 2.6% in the CPI(A)); food (excluding meals bought away from home) (1.9% in the Composite CPI and 1.3% in the CPI(A)); miscellaneous goods (1.4% in the Composite CPI and 2.0% in the CPI(A)) and transport (1.4% in the Composite CPI and 1.3% in the CPI(A)). 

     On the other hand, year-on-year decreases in prices were recorded in January 2018 for durable goods (-1.6% in the Composite CPI and -1.9% in the CPI(A)) and miscellaneous services (-1.5% in the Composite CPI and -1.9% in the CPI(A)). 

     As for alcoholic drinks and tobacco, the Composite CPI fell by 0.2% over a year earlier but the CPI(A) rose by 0.1%. 

     For the three months ended January 2018, the Composite CPI rose by 1.6% over a year earlier, while the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) rose by 1.8%, 1.6% and 1.7% respectively. The corresponding increases after netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures were 1.6%, 1.7%, 1.6% and 1.7% respectively. 

     For the 12 months ended January 2018, the Composite CPI was on average 1.5% higher than that in the preceding 12-month period.  The respective increases in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 1.6%, 1.4% and 1.5%. The corresponding increases after netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures were 1.6%, 1.8%, 1.5% and 1.6% respectively. 

Commentary

     A Government spokesman said that the underlying inflation rate held steady at a moderate level in January, as a spike in electricity charge due to the low base of comparison created by the special fuel rebate a year ago was broadly offset by the temporary drag effect from the difference in timing of the Lunar New Year (which fell in mid-February this year but in late January last year) that led to year-on-year declines in items such as charges for package tours.

     The spokesman commented further that, looking ahead, inflation pressure may increase slightly in the rest of the year amid a stronger global economy and continued expansion of the local economy. For February, the year-on-year increases in the CPIs are likely to see a temporary pick-up due to the distortions caused by the difference in timing of the Lunar New Year. The Government will continue to monitor the inflation developments closely, particularly the impact on the lower-income people.

Further information

     The CPIs and year-on-year rates of change at section level for January 2018 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 January 2018 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/Thursday, February 22, 2018
Issued at HKT 16:30
NNNN
Attachments
Table and chart

Under the same press release series:

Upcoming release date:

  • 21 Jun 2018

Related statistical subject(s):