Food and non-alcoholic drink prices are out of control

Vegetables are on sale Sunday at a traditional market in central Seoul. According to data provided by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on Saturday, the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 5% year-on-year in the third quarter in Korea, placing the country fifth out of 38 OECD countries. countries in terms of food price growth rate. [YONHAP]

Food prices are the source of inflation in Korea.

According to data provided by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on Saturday, the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 5% year-on-year in the third quarter in Korea, placing the country fifth out of 38 OECD countries. countries in terms of food price growth rate.

Turkey posted the strongest growth at 27.6%, followed by Colombia, Australia and Mexico. Chile tied with Korea sharing 5% growth rates.

Korea’s overall consumer prices rose 2.6% during the July-September period, which is the fastest growing since the first quarter of 2012, when prices rose 3%.

Nonetheless, its ranking for headline inflation was 23rd among OECD countries, showing that food and non-alcoholic drink price growth was relatively stronger in Korea than in other countries.

Korea ranks relatively low in the global inflation rankings, according to an OECD report released on December 1.

“The [global economic] the rebound is losing some of its momentum as the sharp increase in demand for goods has encountered bottlenecks in production chains, ”the report reads.

The OECD cited disruptions in energy, food and commodity markets, high energy prices and fuel shortages and bottlenecks in production chains as the main factors driving global inflation.

“The resurgence of inflationary pressures risks [are] longer than expected a few months ago, ”the report reads. “Rising food and energy prices hit low-income households particularly hard.”

The prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages in Korea have been on the rise since the first quarter of last year. They rose 1.7% in the first quarter of 2020 year on year and reached 8.2% in the first quarter of this year, the highest since the third quarter of 2011.

Increases in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages have a direct impact on consumers. There are limits to how much a household can reduce its spending on these items.

According to Statistics Korea, the products that saw the largest increases in the last quarter were eggs, whose prices soared 51.6 percent, followed by pears (45.2 percent), apples (34.6 percent). percent) and garlic (28.1 percent). Prices for pork, spinach, mushrooms, chicken, beef and processed meats like ham have also increased.

The increases are expected to continue in the fourth quarter, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK) on Friday.

“We expected the consumer price increase in November to exceed that in October, but it did so much more than we expected,” BOK said in a report.

“We expect inflation rates to exceed our expectations for some time due to increasing inflationary pressures and bottlenecks in supply chains.”

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki, however, promised that consumer prices would stabilize this month.

“In December, the international price of crude will stabilize and [government] fuel tax cuts will have an effect, slowing growth [of consumer prices]”Hong said at a government meeting last Thursday.

BY YOON SO-YEON [[email protected]]

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