RTTNews - South Korea's consumer price index or CPI increased both on a monthly basis and on a yearly basis in August, Statistics Korea said Tuesday.

Year-on-year, consumer prices were up 2.2% in August, faster than the 1.6% growth in the prior month. Analysts were looking for a yearly growth of 2.1%. Excluding agricultural products and oils from the goods basket, prices rose 3.1% from August 2008.

On a monthly basis, prices were up 0.4%, which was the same rate of growth seen in July. Excluding agricultural products and oils, the monthly rate of growth slowed to 0.1% in August.

Year-on-year increases were witnessed across the board, excepting the transportation and communication sectors, which recorded declines in August.

Classifying by expenditure category, food & non-alcohol beverage prices recorded the most significant annual rise in August, up 5.9%. It was followed by restaurant & hotel costs, which increased 3.1% and education, up 2%. Housing, water, electricity, gas & other fuel costs rose 0.5%.

Transportation costs witnessed the biggest yearly decline in August, falling 4.7%, while communication prices were down 0.1%.

Meanwhile, in a separate report released Monday, Statistics Korea announced that industrial production in the country rose unexpectedly in July, edging up 0.7% compared to the 1.2% decline in the previous month. Further, shipments were down 1.4% on an annual basis, and the inventory index declined 15% year-on-year in July. The report also revealed that the service industry activity index climbed 0.8% from July 2008.

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