SEOUL: South Korea’s consumer prices rose 5.0% in November from a year earlier, government data showed today (Dec 2), marking the slowest pace since April and slightly missing market expectations.

The November inflation rate compared with 5.7% in October and 5.1% tipped in a Reuters poll. The country’s inflation rate has been falling since hitting a 24-year high of 6.3% in July as global energy prices eased and the economy slowed.

The Statistics Korea data comes two days after governor Rhee Chang-yong (pic) of the Bank of Korea (BOK) said during an interview at a Reuters Next conference that it could adjust the pace of interest rate increases if needed.

The BOK has since August last year raised its policy interest rate by a total of 275 basis points to 3.25%, a decade high, in its most aggressive tightening cycle to fight inflation.

The core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, showed annual growth ticking up to 4.3% in November from 4.2% in October, hitting the fastest since December 2008 and reflecting still elevated underlying inflation pressures.

The CPI fell 0.1% on a monthly basis, following the 0.3% rise a month before. – Reuters