Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

South Korea’s Inflation Accelerates to Fastest Since 2017

Economic IndicatorsMay 03, 2021 07:18PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Bloomberg. A customer wearing a protective face mask pays for her purchase at a dumpling store in Mangwon Market in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. South Korea relaxed its social distancing rules on Monday, allowing longer opening hours for some retail businesses, as the number of new coronavirus infections declines. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- South Korea’s inflation accelerated in April to the fastest pace since 2017, aided by a favorable base effect amid a broadening economic recovery.

Inflation rose to 2.3% in April, data from the statistics office showed Tuesday, rapidly increasing from the 1.5% gain in March. Economists expected consumer prices to rise 2.1% from a year earlier.

The inflation boost was driven by rising commodity and energy prices, which had plunged during the same period a year earlier when the pandemic spread across the world. Rising consumer demand and confidence amid an economic recovery are also favorable for prices.

Key Insights

  • Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol said last month that inflation will likely fluctuate around 2% -- the central bank’s target -- in the current quarter before moderating. Lee has sought to tamp down speculation for an early policy tightening, pledging to keep policy accommodative.
  • Last month’s inflation outcome was boosted by the weak reading in April 2020, when prices rose just 0.1% from a year earlier. Such favorable base effects will remain in play for the coming months.
  • South Korea’s gross domestic production surpassed its pre-virus peak in the first quarter, a milestone not yet reached in most economies. That prompted a string of outlook upgrades by analysts, with Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) both seeing more than 4% growth for 2021. Korean consumers are also becoming more optimistic.
  • Justin Jimenez, an economist at Bloomberg Economics, expects slack in the labor market to put a cap on inflation pressures. South Korean employment is still below the pre-virus level as the service sector remains under pressure.

Get More

  • Compared with the previous month, consumer prices rose 0.2 % in April.
  • South Korea’s core inflation came in at 1.4%, versus the prior year.
  • Prices for foods and non-alcoholic beverages rose 8.1% from a year earlier; costs of transportation increased 6.4%; inflation for restaurants and hotels reached 1.8%.

(Adds more details, chart)

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

South Korea’s Inflation Accelerates to Fastest Since 2017

Related Articles

U.S. business inventories rise moderately in March
U.S. business inventories rise moderately in March By Reuters - May 14, 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. business inventories increased moderately in March, likely restrained by shortages of raw materials, which have weighed on the production of motor...

U.S. manufacturing production rises in April
U.S. manufacturing production rises in April By Reuters - May 14, 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Output at U.S. factories increased in April as operations at plants that were damaged by February's stormy weather in the South came back online, offsetting...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email