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



Consumer Price Indices for April 2020

 



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May 21, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for April 2020. According to the Composite CPI, overall consumer prices rose by 1.9% in April 2020 over the same month a year earlier, smaller than the corresponding increase (2.3%) in March 2020. The smaller year-on-year rate of change in the Composite CPI in April was partly attributable to the higher base of comparison caused by the lowering of rates concession ceiling starting from April 2019, from HK$2,500 (US$320) ) per quarter for each rateable tenement in earlier periods to HK$1,500 (US$192). 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 April 2020 was 2.3%, smaller than that in March 2020 (2.6%), mainly due to the smaller increases in private housing rentals and the decreases in the fuel cost variation charge for towngas. 

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average monthly rate of change in the Composite CPI for the three-month period ending April 2020 was 0.6%, and that for the three-month period ending March 2020 was 0.0%. Netting out the effects of all Government’s one-off relief measures, the corresponding rates of change were -0.1% and 0.1%.

Amongst the various components of the Composite CPI, year-on-year increases in prices were recorded in April 2020 for food (excluding meals bought away from home) (14.0%), miscellaneous goods (2.9%), housing (1.8%), meals bought away from home (1.6%), miscellaneous services (0.9%), alcoholic drinks and tobacco (0.7%) as well as transport (0.1%).

On the other hand, year-on-year decreases in the components of the Composite CPI were recorded in April 2020 for electricity, gas and water (-18.8%); clothing and footwear (-4.4%) as well as durable goods (-3.1%).

A Government spokesman said that the underlying consumer price inflation rate went down to 2.3% in April, as price pressures on most major CPI components receded, offsetting the slight increase in food inflation.

Looking ahead, inflationary pressure is likely to ease further in the near term. Domestic cost pressures should continue to abate amid the severe economic recession. External price pressures are expected to subside further in view of the plunging global demand 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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