June 1, 2020 / 11:17 PM / a month ago

South Korea May consumer prices fall for first time in eight months

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s annual inflation rate in May fell below zero for the first time since September 2019, data showed on Tuesday, as the coronvirus pandemic continued to weigh on domestic demand and oil prices plunged.

The consumer price index (CPI) slid 0.3% in May from a year earlier, the Statistics Korea data showed, slightly missing a median 0.2% fall tipped in a Reuters survey. It was only the second time the index had turned negative since data releases began in 1965.

The index fell 0.2% in May on a monthly basis, matching the prediction of a 0.2% drop.

The core CPI, however, was unchanged at 0.1% rise from a year earlier.

Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Kim Coghill

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