Regional consumer inflation up 3.2 pct in Q2

August 21, 2023

South Korea’s nationwide consumer prices rose 3.2 percent on-year in the second quarter of 2023, led by higher utility and dining out costs, data showed Monday.

By region, consumer prices in Seoul moved up 3.8 percent over the period, followed by the southeastern port city of Busan with 3.3 percent, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

The southern resort island of Jeju posted the lowest growth of 2.4 percent, with Sejong, 112 kilometers south of Seoul, experiencing a 2.6 percent rise.

The agency attributed the overall rise to higher utility costs, which moved up 24.3 percent on-year in the April-June period. The cost of dining out increased 7 percent as well, it added.

The national mining and manufacturing output, meanwhile, fell 7.4 percent on-year nationwide, with Gyeonggi Province posting the sharpest decline of 16.2 percent. The output from Busan slipped 8.5 percent.

The decrease was mostly led by the sluggish performance of the semiconductor, electric component and chemical industries.

Nationwide retail sales rose 2.8 percent on-year in the second quarter on the back of the financial, insurance, transportation and logistics segments.

Incheon, 27 kilometers west of Seoul, posted the sharpest growth of 7.6 percent, trailed by Seoul with 6.6 percent.

The employment-to-population ratio came to 63.2 percent nationwide, up 0.5 percentage point over the period. The rate in Gyeonggi Province fell 0.4 percentage point, while that in Gangwon Province advanced 2.2 percentage points.

A woman shops for groceries at a supermarket in Seoul on Aug. 20, 2023. (Yonhap)
A woman shops for groceries at a supermarket in Seoul on Aug. 20, 2023. (Yonhap)