SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's consumer price inflation stayed in the 1 percent range for 10 straight months, but it rose at a faster pace from the prior month due to higher prices of farm goods and oil products, a government report showed Monday.
Consumer prices gained 1.3 percent in August from a year earlier after increasing 1.4 percent in the prior month, according to Statistics Korea. From a month ago, the prices rose 0.3 percent, up from a 0.2 percent advance in the previous month.
On an on-year basis, the consumer price inflation stayed in the 1 percent level for the 10th consecutive month as the still sluggish economy eased demand-side inflationary pressures.
The on-month figure, however, rose faster compared with the prior month due to higher prices in agricultural and oil products, the Finance Ministry said in a separate report.
Prices for agricultural, fishery and livestock products jumped 3.6 percent in August from the prior month. Farm goods prices surged 6.6 percent on-month last month due to bad crops amid the protracted rainy days during the summer rainy season.
Vegetable prices rose sharply. Prices for cabbage and watermelon surged 69.6 percent and 38 percent each on-month in August, with those for spinach and tomato jumping 47.2 percent and 40.7 percent respectively.
Prices in industrial goods, including oil products and processed food, fell 0.2 percent in August from a month ago. Oil product prices advanced 1 percent amid higher oil prices, but a 15 percent drop in cosmetics relieved the rise in petroleum product prices.
Global oil prices averaged 107 U.S. dollars per barrel in August, up from 103 dollars in the prior month. Domestic gasoline prices rose to 1,948 won (1.76 U.S. dollars) in August from 1,928 won in July.
The so-called "livelihood price" index, which reflects the costs of key daily necessities, climbed 0.8 percent on-year in August, but the growth was slightly down from a 0.9 percent rise in the prior month.
Fresh food prices, which include vegetable and fruit, rose 2.6 percent in August from a year earlier, up from a 0.4 percent gain in the previous month.
Core consumer prices, which exclude agricultural and oil products, increased 1.3 percent on-year in August after rising 1.5 percent in the prior month.
The Finance Ministry cautioned over risk factors such as geopolitical risks in the Middle East that could rattle the global oil prices, noting that demand for vegetable and fruit may surge ahead of the Chuseok holiday, an equivalent to Thanksgiving Day, that fall in mid-September.
Prices for electricity, tap water and gas rose 0.4 percent on- month in August, up from a 0.3 percent gain in the prior month. Public service prices were unchanged from the prior month, a rebound from a 0.3 percent fall in July.
Private service prices gained 0.1 percent in August from a month earlier, and housing rents advanced 0.2 percent over the cited period.