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Finance ministry to prioritize stabilizing inflation next year

SEOUL, Dec. 22 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s finance ministry said on Wednesday it will give top priority to stabilizing consumer inflation next year as the country faces mounting price pressures amid rising commodity prices. and agricultural products and the economic recovery .

In the first quarter of next year, the government plans to strengthen surveillance of supplies of key agricultural products closely related to people’s livelihoods and freeze public utility bills.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance chose measures to stabilize inflation as a key part of its 2022 policy plans reported to President Moon Jae-in.

The ministry recently sharply revised its inflation forecast for 2022 to 2.2 percent from its previous estimate of 1.4 percent. The inflation forecast is higher than the 2 percent forecast by the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The country’s consumer prices rose 3.7 percent in November from a year ago, the fastest year-on-year increase in a decade and accelerating from a 3.2 percent increase in October. The BOK aims to maintain annual inflation at 2 percent over the medium term.

The government predicts that consumer prices will rise by 2.4 percent this year. The BOK estimates the inflation outlook for 2021 at 2.3 percent.

The ministry said consumer price growth will slow next year compared to this year as oil price growth slows and the supply of agricultural products has increased.

But inflation is expected to remain elevated for the time being, as demand inflationary pressures are expected to increase in line with the recovery in domestic demand, and processed food prices and eating out are expected to rise. .

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