Published: 19:59, May 23, 2024 | Updated: 09:32, May 24, 2024
HK’s inflation remains modest in April
By Li Xiaoyun in Hong Kong
Customers buy goods from a shop at a market in Tsuen Wan on April 4, 2022. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)

Consumer prices rose 1.1 percent from a year earlier in April. Prices for alcoholic drinks and tobacco rose the most, up 20.8 percent year-on-year, followed by 3.1 percent increases in the cost of dining out and takeaway foods.

Electricity, gas and water prices fell 9.3 percent on a yearly basis, while those for durable goods and basic foods declined 0.8 percent and 0.4 percent respectively. 

The government spokesperson said the overall inflation should remain contained in the near term, and external price pressures should remain on a downward trend, though geopolitical tensions will bring uncertainties

“The underlying consumer price inflation — which excludes the effects of all the government’s one-off relief measures — stayed modest in April,” a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government spokesperson said.

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“While the prices of meals out and takeaway food increased at a relatively fast pace, the prices of basic food edged down. The prices of energy-related items declined notably. Price pressures on other major components remained broadly in check,” the spokesperson said.

Despite greater price hikes in the cost of eating out and for takeaway foods, Alexa Chow Yee-ping, managing director of ACTS Consulting, said the increases are holding at a reasonable level below 4 to 5 percent. 

A report from job platform Jobsdb on Tuesday, which examined 13 sectors in Hong Kong, found the average pay raise in the city for 2024 at 3.2 percent. Hong Kong’s wage growth has outpaced inflation, which can help to alleviate the cost pressure on employers from raising salaries, and can also ease living pressure on residents, Chow said.

The underlying inflation rate for the first four months of 2024 rose 1.7 percent over the previous year.

READ MORE: HK to register real wage growth in 2024 as inflation slows

The government spokesperson said the overall inflation should remain contained in the near term, and external price pressures should remain on a downward trend, though geopolitical tensions will bring uncertainties.

Chow holds a similar view that the city’s consumer prices will likely remain at a moderate level in the near future, as businesses are keen to retain customers by offering reasonably priced goods and services.

 

irisli@chinadailyhk.com