Salem Radio Network News Thursday, December 8, 2022

Business

Taiwan Sept inflation rate edges up slightly, but still below 3%

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s inflation heated up in September, with the consumer price index (CPI) rising 2.75% from a year earlier, broadly in line with economists’ predictions though also below 3% for the second month in a row.

The pace quickened from a 2.66% year-on-year reading for August, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics said in a statement on Thursday.

In a Reuters poll of 19 economists, the CPI was expected to rise by 2.7% from a year earlier.

Core CPI, a better measure of underlying price pressures, rose an on-year 2.79% last month, compared to 2.73% in August. It excludes more volatile energy, vegetable and fruit prices.

Directorate official Tsao Chih-hung told reporters that October’s inflation rate should be a little lower than September’s, and that they still believed inflation had peaked in the second quarter.

Inflation will likely continue to abate as the year progresses, Tsao added.

The inflation rate had hit a near 14-year high of 3.59% in June.

Like its peers, Taiwan’s central bank is keeping a wary eye on price rises as it considers monetary policy.

Last month the bank raised its benchmark policy rate for the third time this year, though only by a mild 12.5 basis points (bps) to 1.625%.

The central bank said it expected CPI would rise 2.95% in 2022, slightly revising up the outlook from 2.83% predicted in June.

But Taiwan’s inflation has never been as bad as in the United States or Europe.

The central bank, whose governor said last month it will need to keep inflation forecasts for next year in mind when it comes to the direction of monetary policy, holds its next quarterly rate-setting meeting in mid-December.

(Reporting by Liang-sa Loh and Ben Blanchard; Editing by David Goodman and Kim Coghill)

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