By Boo Jang-won
South Korea’s producer prices rose for the seventh straight month in February to a 26-month high due to spike in oil and other commodity prices, the central bank said Monday.
The producer price index (PPI) came to 102.62 last month, up by 0.3 percent from January, according to preliminary data released by the Bank of Korea. Against the same month last year, it was up 4.2 percent, the biggest year-on-year gain since December 2011.
The PPI is a barometer of future consumer inflation as it indicates wholesale prices of producers, which are reflected in consumer prices two to three months later.
Last month, prices of agricultural, livestock and fishery goods gained 2.0 percent from a month earlier. Prices of livestock products jumped 5.7 percent followed by fishery (1.6 percent) and agricultural products (0.8 percent).
Industrial products, which account for the most of the PPI, edged up 0.3 percent from a month earlier. By item, primary metals rose 2.1 percent and chemical products increased 0.8 percent. Service prices increased 0.1 percent on month including real estate (0.3 percent) and restaurant and accommodation (0.3 percent).