© Reuters. A woman shops at a traditional market in Ulsan, South Korea, May 29, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo
SEOUL (Reuters) -South Korea’s consumer inflation eased for a third consecutive month to a 14-month low in April on an annual basis, data showed on Tuesday, supporting the market’s perception that the central bank’s policy tightening cycle is over.
The consumer price index (CPI) stood 3.7% higher in April than a year earlier, the Statistics Korea data showed, marking the slowest growth since February last year and following a 4.2% increase in March.
It roughly matched a 3.75% rise tipped in a Reuters survey.
Despite the sustained cooling in annual inflation, other measures showed inflation pressure was far from disappearing as prices rose on a monthly basis and annual inflation held steady when excluding volatile items.
The CPI rose 0.2% in April from March, gaining for a fifth consecutive month, while the annual growth in the index excluding foods and energy items held steady at 4.0% for a third consecutive month, the data showed.
The official target for the Bank of Korea’s monetary policy is managing the broadest CPI growth at around 2% on an annual basis.