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Economy in Brief

Price Rises Beginning to Accelerate in Pacific Rim Countries
by Louise Curley July 6, 2004

Consumer price rises are beginning to accelerate in the Pacific Rim. The pace of acceleration is varied, but the general trend is upward.

China, Hong Kong and Taiwan--all of whom had been experiencing deflation--are beginning to show increasing rates of price rises and, except for Hong Kong, are now showing positive rates of price changes.

In 2003, Indonesia reduced the rate of increase in consumer prices to 6.62% from 11.92 in 2002, but the trend is once more upward. Similarly, the Philippines, which had reduced its inflation rate to 2.88% in 2003 from 3.10% in 2002 and 6.12% in 2001, is now showing a rising trend.

Consumer prices were relatively steady in both South Korea and Thailand during the first five months of this year, but stepped up their rates of increase in June.

Year overYear%Chang
       
Consumer Price Indexes (NSA) Jun 04 May 04 Apr  04 Mar  04 Feb  04  Jan 04 2003 % 2002 %  2001 %
Taiwan  1.75 0.89 0.91 0.89 0.65 0.01  -0.28 -0.20 -0.00
Hong Kong n.a. -0.86 -1.49 -2.13 -1.93 -1.39  -2.58 -3.04 -1.60
China n.a. 4.4 3.8 3.0 2.1 3.2  1.2 -0.8 0.7
Indonesia  7.23 6.47 6.11 5.24 4.62 4.82 6.62 11.92 11.46
Philippines  5.13 4.47 4.06 3.77 3.42 3.43 2.88 3.10 6.12
Thailand   3.02 2.45 2.46 2.27 2.18 1.23 1.82 0.60 1.66
South Korea  3.63 3.35 3.25 3.07 3.28 3.39 3.51 2.76 4.07
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