Official data released on Thursday showed that annual inflation in Hong Kong rose by 2.1 percent in the past two months compared to the same period a year ago.
The Census and Statistics Department noted that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 2.4 percent in January and 1.7 in February.
It pointed out the CPI tends to show greater volatility over the Lunar New Year, and so the Composite CPI takes into account the first two months of 2023 to neutralise the effect of the holiday. It also nets out the effect of all government one-off relief measures.
In a statement, a government spokesman said the sharpest price increase was recorded for electricity, gas and water – which went up by more than 20 percent – followed by alcoholic drinks and tobacco at 14 percent. Costs for clothing and footwear rose by 5.5 percent, while meals out and takeaway food cost 4.3 percent more.
Year-on-year decreases were recorded for durable goods, which went down by 2.1 percent. Basic food items cost 0.6 percent less, and housing costs went down by 0.1 percent.
The spokesman said that overall inflation could face some upward pressure looking ahead, but should remain moderate in the near term.
“Domestic cost pressures may increase in tandem with the return of economic activities to normalcy,” he said.
“External price pressures should remain notable for some time, though likely see some moderation alongside easing inflation in major economies,” the spokesman added.