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Clothing and footwear prices increase year-on-year
Mar '08
The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released March 20 the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for February 2008. According to the Composite CPI, overall consumer prices rose by 6.3% in February 2008 over a year earlier.

The year-on-year rates of change in the CPIs in February 2008 were affected by a number of one-off factors, including the waiver of public housing rentals by the Housing Authority and Housing Society for the month of February 2007, the policy measure of rates concession for January to March 2008 and the waiver of public housing rentals by Housing Society for the month of February 2008.

While the first factor had led to a low base of comparison and raised the year-on-year rate of increase in the Composite CPI for February 2008 by 2.4 percentage points, the other two factors had together lowered the year-on-year rate of increase by 1.2 percentage points.

Netting out the effects of all these one-off factors, the year-on-year rate of increase in the Composite CPI in February 2008 (i.e. the underlying inflation rate) was 5.1%, larger than the corresponding underlying inflation rate in January (4.3%).

Analysed by sub-index, the year-on-year rates of increase in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 9.9%, 5.2% and 3.9% respectively in February 2008. The larger increase in the headline CPI(A) was mainly attributable to the low base of comparison arising from the waiver of public housing rentals in February last year, which had more significant effect on the CPI(A) as the expenditure weight of public housing rent in this sub-index was larger.

Netting out the effects of all relevant one-off factors, the year-on-year increases in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 5.2%, 5.1% and 4.8% respectively in February 2008, which compared to 4.2%, 4.4% and 4.3% in January.

For discerning the latest trend in consumer prices, it is also useful to look at the changes in the seasonally adjusted CPIs. For the 3-month period from December 2007 to February 2008, the average monthly rates of increase in the seasonally adjusted Composite CPI, CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were all 0.5%. The corresponding rates of increase for the 3-month period from November 2007 to January 2008 were all 0.2%.

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