HONG KONG, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's overall consumer prices rose by 2.5 percent in May over the same month a year earlier, slightly higher than the 2.4 percent year-on-year increase in April, the city's Census and Statistics Department announced Tuesday.
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 May 2010 was 1.4 percent, also slightly larger than that of April (1.3 percent), mainly due to the enlarged increases in private housing rentals and costs for meals bought away from home.
Amongst the various CPI components, year-on-year increases in prices were recorded in May for electricity, gas and water, mainly because some households had used up the full amount of government' s one-off electricity charge subsidy.
Meanwhile, year-on-year decline in price was recorded in the month for durable goods.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average monthly rate of change in the Composite CPI for the three-month period from March to May was 0.1 percent, compared to 0.3 percent for the three- month period from February to April.
A government spokesman said the underlying consumer price inflation rate remained moderate in May on a year-on-year basis and the strengthening of the Hong Kong dollar alongside the U.S. dollar, as well as the retreat in global food and fuel prices, provided some buffer for containing the overall local price pressure.
The spokesman predicted that inflation rate on a year-on-year basis may go up in the coming months with a relatively lower base of comparison in the same period last year.