2. ZERO HUNGER

Inflation rises 3.1 percent in March on agricultural products

Inflation rises 3.1 percent in March on agricultural products
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Inflation rises 3.1 percent in March on agricultural products  The Korea JoongAng Daily

Inflation rises 3.1 percent in March on agricultural products

Korea’s Inflation Driven by Agricultural Products

Consumer prices, a key gauge of inflation, gained 3.1 percent in March from a year earlier, according to the data from Statistics Korea on Tuesday. It was driven by agricultural products, including apples and tangerines. A customer shops in a supermarket in Seoul on the day. [NEWS1]

Consumer prices, a key gauge of inflation, gained 3.1 percent in March from a year earlier, according to the data from Statistics Korea on Tuesday. It was driven by agricultural products, including apples and tangerines. A customer shops in a supermarket in Seoul on the day. [NEWS1]

Introduction

Korea’s inflation grew more than 3 percent for the second straight month in March, largely driven by prices of agricultural products.

Consumer Price Inflation

Consumer prices, a key gauge of inflation, gained 3.1 percent from a year earlier, according to data from Statistics Korea on Tuesday. The on-year figure stayed unchanged from February after coming in at 2.8 percent in January.

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Inflation Driven by Agricultural Products

Inflation last month was led by an overall price jump in agricultural, livestock, and fishery products, which advanced 11.7 percent on year in March compared to an annual gain of 11.4 percent the previous month.

Agricultural Product Prices

Agricultural products soared 20.5 percent in March after gaining 20.9 percent in February on the back of apple prices, which skyrocketed 88.2 percent. It was the most rapid growth since data was first compiled in January 1980. The price of pears also soared 87.8 percent while that of tangerines accelerated 68.4 percent in March.

Government Measures

President Yoon Suk Yeol vowed to inject an “unlimited” amount of funds with the intent of reining in agro and livestock products “without a time frame” until people feel that prices have stabilized. The government will expand eligibility for support measures currently centered on major supermarkets to include small and mid-sized stores and traditional markets. Qualification for agricultural vouchers targeting vulnerable social groups will also be broadened.

“The price growth of agro and livestock products has started to slow somewhat from late March, but remains high,” said Yoon. “We will have to thoroughly prepare for climate change, which has become the new normal,” he added, as atypical weather has been partially blamed for the recent price surge.

The president promoted the utilization of digital technologies like artificial intelligence to run orchards and develop new breeds of agricultural products.

Stabilization Pledge

The stabilization pledge by Yoon comes ahead of the election on April 10, the outcome of which will affect his ability to execute his policies for the rest of his term before leaving office in 2027.

Core Inflation

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, grew 2.4 percent in March, slowing from a 2.5 percent gain in February.

“The government will put in the utmost effort to quickly bring inflation to the 2 percent range amid uncertainties, including volatility in international oil prices as well as agricultural prices that remain high due to aggravated weather conditions,” said the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Bank of Korea’s Role

The Bank of Korea (BOK) has also been doing its part to stabilize inflation by keeping its benchmark interest rate high at 3.5 percent since last January. The central bank said that it will be difficult to cut the benchmark rate in the first half of the year as it needs more evidence confirming that inflation is on a sustainable path down to the target 2 percent rate.

Core inflation is projected to gradually slow due to a weak recovery in private consumption, said the BOK on Tuesday. Consumer prices are also expected to present a downward trend, but the movement will not be smooth due to the volatility of oil and agricultural prices.

It added that price movement needs to be observed for a longer period before the bank can be certain that inflation is heading toward the target rate. The BOK’s next rate-setting meeting is scheduled for April 12.

Price Outlook

The Finance Ministry expects prices in Korea to rise 2.6 percent this year.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]

SDGs, Targets and Indicators

  1. SDG 1: No Poverty

    • Target 1.3: Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable.
    • Indicator: The article mentions that the government will expand eligibility for support measures currently centered on major supermarkets to include small and mid-sized stores and traditional markets. This can be seen as an effort to provide social protection and support to vulnerable social groups.
  2. SDG 2: Zero Hunger

    • Target 2.4: By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters, and that progressively improve land and soil quality.
    • Indicator: The article mentions that the president promoted the utilization of digital technologies like artificial intelligence to run orchards and develop new breeds of agricultural products. This can be seen as an effort to improve agricultural productivity and production through innovative practices.
  3. SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

    • Target 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.
    • Indicator: The article mentions that the government will expand eligibility for support measures to include small and mid-sized stores and traditional markets. This can be seen as an effort to support employment and economic growth in these sectors.
  4. SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

    • Target 12.2: By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.
    • Indicator: The article mentions that the government will inject an “unlimited” amount of funds to stabilize agro and livestock products. This can be seen as an effort to promote sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources in the agricultural sector.
  5. SDG 13: Climate Action

    • Target 13.1: Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.
    • Indicator: The article mentions that the president emphasized the need to prepare for climate change, which has been partially blamed for the recent price surge. This can be seen as an acknowledgement of the importance of climate action and building resilience to climate-related hazards.

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: koreajoongangdaily.joins.com

 

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