HONGKONG, Aug. 21 -- Hong Kong's consumer prices rose 6.3 percent in July over the same month last year, and were up on June's 6.1 percent rise, the Census and Statistics Department said in its latest statistics released here Thursday.
The worsening inflation was mainly due to increases in the price of fresh vegetables and private housing rentals, according to the department.
The headline inflation rate of 6.3 percent was the same as the underlying rate because the effect of the rates concession by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government was offset by a similar relief measure in July last year.
In July, food prices excluding meals bought away from home jumped 19.7 percent from the same month of last year. Foods with large price hikes were rice (66.3 percent), beef (45.6 percent), canned meat (39.3 percent), fresh-water fish (34.1 percent), edible oils (32.8 percent), pork (32.2 percent), fresh vegetables (28.3 percent) and other meat (23 percent).
Year-on-year increases were also recorded in electricity, gas and water (7.9 percent), housing (6.7 percent), meals bought away from home (6.6 percent), miscellaneous goods (5.7 percent), transport (3.9 percent), clothing and footwear (1.4 percent) and alcoholic drinks and tobacco (1.3 percent).
Only the price of durable goods fall 1 percent year on year.
The department said the inflation outlook for the rest of the year was "rather uncertain" as food and energy prices in the international markets remain elevated compared with a year earlier though they had eased somewhat more recently.
The earlier surges in private housing rents would also be increasingly reflected in the consumer price inflation in the coming months, the department said.
However, the improvement in labor productivity and the expected moderation in the rate of economic growth in the period ahead should provide some alleviation effect, according to the department.
The relief measures announced in the HKSAR government's 2008-09 Budget and by the Chief Executive in July would also help lower the headline inflation later this year, according to the department.