Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong
News Release



Consumer Price Indices for March 2020

 



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April 23, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for March 2020. According to the Composite CPI, overall consumer prices rose by 2.3% in March 2020 over the same month a year earlier, larger than the average rate of increase in January and February 2020 (1.8%). The comparison to the average rate of increase in January and February is to neutralize the effect caused by different timing of the Lunar New Year between two years, which occurred in late January this year but in early February last year. The larger increase in the Composite CPI in March compared to January and February combined was mainly due to the Government's payment of public housing rentals and waiver of two-thirds of rent for tenants of Group B estates by Hong Kong Housing Society in January 2020.

Netting out the effects of all Government’s one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of increase in the Composite CPI (i.e. the underlying inflation rate) in March 2020 was 2.6%, smaller than the average rate of increase in January and February 2020 (3.1%). The smaller increase was mainly due to the smaller increases in the prices of pork.

The year-on-year rate of increase in the Composite CPI in March 2020 was 2.3%, larger than that in February 2020 (2.2%). Netting out the effects of all Government’s one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of increase in the Composite CPI in March 2020 was 2.6%, also larger than that in February 2020 (2.5%).

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average monthly rate of change in the Composite CPI for the three-month period ending March 2020 was 0.0%, the same as that for the three-month period ending February 2020. Netting out the effects of all Government's one-off relief measures, the corresponding rates of increase were both 0.1%.

A Government spokesman said that the underlying consumer price inflation rate went down from 3.1% for January and February combined to 2.6% in March, as food inflation moderated slightly while price pressures on most other major CPI components showed varying degrees of easing.

Looking ahead, inflation should remain moderate in the near term. Domestic cost pressures have abated amid the austere local economic situation. External price pressures are expected to subside further in view of the global recession and the recent strengthening of the Hong Kong dollar along with the US dollar. The Government will continue to monitor the inflation situation closely, particularly the impact on the lower-income people.


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