September: S. Korea's consumer price index falls by 0.4%

South Korea's consumer price index fell by 0.4 percent, marking the first-ever slide in headline inflation, statistical office data showed Tuesday.

The consumer price index stood at 105.2, down 0.4 percent from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea. It was the first-ever decline since the statistical office began compiling the data in 1965.

In August, the index shed by 0.038 percent from a year earlier, but it was officially recorded as a "zero" change because the official figure is rounded to one decimal place.

The consumer price inflation stayed below one percent for the ninth consecutive month, after retreating to 0.8 percent in January.

The consumer price fall was affected by the government's welfare policies, such as an expanded free education for high school students and a widened coverage of national health insurance.

Lower prices for farm goods and oil product also contributed to the prolonged trend of low inflation.

Port of Busan, South Korea. /VCG Photo

Port of Busan, South Korea. /VCG Photo

Exports fall for 10th month

Meanwhile, South Korea's export dipped in double figures, keeping a downward trend for the 10th consecutive month, a government report showed Tuesday.  

Export, which accounts for about half of the export-driven economy, diminished by 11.7 percent over the year to 44.71 billion U.S. dollars, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. 

The outbound shipment continued to slide since December last year on lower export prices for major export items such as semiconductors and petrochemicals.  

In terms of volume, the export grew by 3.1 percent from a year earlier. For the first nine months of this year, the export volume added by 0.9 percent.  

The daily export averaged 2.18 billion U.S. dollars, marking the highest this year.   

Import reduced by 5.6 percent from a year earlier to 38.74 billion U.S. dollars, sending the trade surplus to 5.97 billion U.S. dollars. It marked the biggest trade surplus this year. The trade balance stayed in black for 92 months in a row.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency