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Statistics

Consumer Price Indices for April 2006
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The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (May 22) the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures for April 2006. According to the new 2004/05-based series of Composite CPI, overall consumer prices rose by 1.9% in April 2006 over a year earlier, larger than the 1.6% increase in March.

The larger year-on-year increase in the Composite CPI in April 2006 than in March was mainly attributable to the increase in the prices of fresh vegetables and the enlarged increase in the charges for package tours.

Analysed by sub-index and on a year-on-year comparison, the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) rose by 1.7%, 2.0% and 2.0% respectively in April 2006, also larger than the corresponding increases of 1.4%, 1.7% and 1.8% in March.

For discerning the latest trend in consumer prices, it is also useful to look at the changes in the seasonally adjusted CPIs. For the 3-month period ended April 2006, the average monthly rates of increase in the seasonally adjusted Composite CPI, CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 0.2%, 0.1%, 0.2% and 0.2% respectively. The corresponding rates of increase for the 3-month period ended March 2006 were all 0.1%.

Amongst the various CPI components, year-on-year increases in prices were recorded in April 2006 for housing (4.9% in the Composite CPI and 3.9% in the CPI(A)), electricity, gas and water (4.1% in the Composite CPI and 4.0% in the CPI(A)), miscellaneous services (1.8% in the Composite CPI and 0.8% in the CPI(A)), food (excluding meals bought away from home) (1.7% in the Composite CPI and 2.2% in the CPI(A)), transport (1.4% in the Composite CPI and 1.2% in the CPI(A)), miscellaneous goods (1.1% in the Composite CPI and 0.2% in the CPI(A)) and meals bought away from home (1.0% in the Composite CPI and 1.1% in the CPI(A)).

On the other hand, year-on-year declines in prices were recorded in April 2006 for alcoholic drinks and tobacco (-6.7% in the Composite CPI and -8.0% in the CPI(A)), durable goods (-6.3% in the Composite CPI and -7.2% in the CPI(A)) and clothing and footwear (-2.0% in the Composite CPI and -1.2% in the CPI(A)).

Taking the first four months of 2006 together, the Composite CPI rose by 1.7% over a year earlier. The corresponding increases in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 1.4%, 1.8% and 1.8%.

For the 3 months ended April 2006, the Composite CPI rose by 1.6% over a year earlier, while the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) rose by 1.4%, 1.7% and 1.7% respectively.

For the 12 months ended April 2006, the Composite CPI was on average 1.4% higher than in the preceding 12-month period. The respective increases in the CPI(A), CPI(B) and CPI(C) were 1.3%, 1.5% and 1.4%.

The new 2004/05-based CPI series, as was first announced by the C&SD on 27 April 2006, is compiled on the basis of the expenditure patterns obtained from the Household Expenditure Survey (HES) conducted during October 2004 to September 2005. It replaces the old 1999/2000-based series for analysing consumer price inflation. The old series will continue to be compiled in parallel with the new series until the reference month of December 2006. It is an established practice in Hong Kong for the HES to be conducted and for the CPI series to be rebased once every five years. Both the old and the new series of CPIs have been exhibiting a similar trend in recent months.

Commentary

A Government Secretariat spokesman pointed out that consumer price inflation edged up but remained moderate in April. The rise in private housing rentals continued to feed through to consumer price indices to a greater extent. Yet prices of many other goods and services showed only mild increases or even declines, suggesting that local inflationary pressure is still well contained. Looking ahead, consumer price inflation is likely to creep up amidst the economic upturn. The recent renewed weakening of the US dollar may also increase price pressure from the external front in the period ahead. Yet rapid labour productivity growth and the continuous expansion in production capacity should continue to provide an offset.

 

 

Gross Domestic Product for the 1st Quarter 2006
Tuesday, 23 May 2006
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The preliminary figures of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2006 were released on 23 May 2006 in the press release "Economic situation in the first quarter of 2006 and latest GDP and price forecasts for 2006" issued by the Economic Analysis and Business Facilitation Unit of the Financial Secretary's Office. Detailed statistics are published in the publication Gross Domestic Product, First Quarter 2006 by the Census and Statistics Department and First Quarter Economic Report 2006 by the Economic Analysis and Business Facilitation Unit of the Financial Secretary's Office.

No separate press release on the GDP by expenditure component was issued by the Census and Statistics Department.

The publication Gross Domestic Product, First Quarter 2006 is now put on sale. On how to order this publication, please click here.

Source: www.censtatd.gov.hk