Inflation rate in May shoots up to 1.7pc due to electricity fees and meals out

Hong Kong's underlying inflation rate rose by 0.1 percent to 1.7 percent in May, mainly because of enlarged increases in electricity charges and costs for dining out and buying takeaway food.

Taking the first five months this year together, the inflation rate jumped by 1.4 percent over a year earlier, according to data released by the statistics department on Tuesday.

The overall consumer prices increased by 1.2 percent in May this year over the same month a year earlier, smaller than the corresponding increase of 1.3 percent logged in April this year.

Among the various components of the inflation rate, year-on-year increases in prices in May were 5.6 percent for clothing and and footwear, 4.9 percent for basic food and 3.5 percent for meals out and takeaway food.

The increases in prices were followed by durable goods at 1.7 percent, transport at 1.5 percent, miscellaneous services at 1.3 percent, alcoholic drinks and tobacco at 1.1 percent and miscellaneous goods at 0.6 percent.

A spokesman for the government said prices of clothing, footwear and dining out recorded accelerated increases amid the stable local pandemic development in the month while that of energy-related item continued to increase sharply.

“The increase in basic food prices moderated further but remained visible.

“External price pressures are expected to remain notable amid the rampant inflation in some major import sources. Yet, with domestic cost pressures remaining mild, overall inflation should stay moderate in the near term,” according to the spokesman.

He added the government will closely monitor the situation.