Wed, 15 Jul 2020

TAIPEI, Taiwan (Xinhua) -- Taiwan has reported the steepest decline of its consumer price index (CPI) since December 2009, rousing concerns over a supply glut and deflation.

The CPI for May fell by 1.19 percent year-on-year, the island's statistics agency said Friday.

The agency attributed the decline to lower oil prices in international markets and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among seven groups of consumer products, transportation and communications charges fell by 8.53 percent year-on-year in May with fuel and lubricant prices declining by 35.28 percent.

Since the COVID-19 epidemic put many consumers at home to avoid contagion, education and entertainment expenses for May dropped by 1.69 percent year-on-year, and hotel charges and domestic tour expenses decreased by 15.76 percent and 4.53 percent respectively.

The CPI for the first five months of this year also dropped by 0.11 percent year-on-year.

In late May, the agency forecast a decline of 0.32 percent of CPI for 2020, rousing widespread concerns of a deflation.

However, the agency said that the May figure could be the lowest and the CPI may bounce back in the near future.

(File photo. Credit: CNA).

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