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Dow Jones Newswires: South Korea’s inflation ends 2022 at more than two-decade high

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South Korea’s headline inflation averaged 5.1% in 2022, the highest in more than two decades, amid signs that price growth appears to be easing recently.

The benchmark consumer-price index rose 5.0% from a year earlier in December, the same pace of growth in November, the country’s statistics office said Friday.

The latest reading, which met market expectations, moderated from the most recent peak of 6.3% in July but still remained above the central bank’s 2.0% target.

Compared with the prior month, the index gained 0.2% in December following a 0.1% decrease in November.

Core CPI, which strips out volatile energy and food prices, rose 4.1% from a year ago and 0.3% from a month earlier in December. It gained 4.3% on year and 0.3% on month in November.

Inflation averaged 5.1% in 2022, the highest since 1998 at the height of the country’s financial crisis. Inflation stood at 2.5% in 2021.

The Bank of Korea, which has tightened policy to fight price growth, says inflation could remain high above 5% in the coming months but gradually ease to average 3.6% in South Korea next year.

The government last week expected inflation to average 3.5% in 2023.

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