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S. Korea's consumer prices likely to grow 2 to 2.5 pct next year


SEJONG, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's consumer prices will likely grow in the range of 2 to 2.5 percent next year, the finance ministry projected Tuesday.

The ministry said in a report that the price growth rates in major advanced countries will remain stable "for the time being" thanks to relatively low costs of import of raw materials. South Korea's consumer prices will also likely show a similar trend, it said.

The ministry predicted that South Korea's consumer price growth rate will be about 0.2 percentage point lower than that in other advanced countries, especially during the cycle of economic recovery.

The International Monetary Fund predicted that the prices in advanced countries will grow 1.8 percent next year, while the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development expected a 1.9 percent rise.

Citing the figures, the ministry projected that South Korea's consumer price growth rate could stay in the range of 2 to 2.5 percent for next year. The government plans to release its official forecast on inflation for 2014 this month.

The projection comes as the country's consumer price index rose 0.9 percent on-year in November, slightly accelerating from a 0.7 percent on-year gain tallied in the previous month.

Until November, however, the consumer prices increased 1.2 percent from a year earlier, quite slower than the previous nine-year average growth of 3.1 percent.

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