HONG KONG, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's composite consumer price index (CPI) rose 3.7 percent in August from a year ago, higher than the 1.6 percent rise in July, mainly due to the difference in timing in respect of the city government's payment of public housing rentals, Hong Kong's statistics department said here on Thursday.
Netting out the effects of all government's one-off relief measures, Hong Kong's CPI in August was also 3.7 percent, easing from the 4.2 percent rise in July, mainly due to the smaller increases in private housing rentals and the prices of salt-water fish.
In August, prices for housing rose 5.2 percent from a year ago, followed by the food 5.2 percent, electricity, gas and water 3.6 percent, clothing and footwear 2.8 percent, transport 2.1 percent, miscellaneous services 1.8 percent and alcoholic drinks and tobacco 0.8 percent.
On the other hand, prices for durable goods fell 1.3 percent in August from a year earlier.
A government spokesman said, given the more difficult economic environment and the more moderate increases in import prices, there should still be some room for inflation to ease further in the near term.