South Korea’s inflation pace slows to 21-month low

South Korea’s headline inflation slowed to a 21-month low in June after easing for a fifth consecutive month.

The benchmark consumer-price index gained 2.7% from a year earlier in June — the slowest pace since September 2021 — after rising 3.3% on year in May, the country’s statistics office said Tuesday.

Higher comparison bases a year earlier and lower energy prices led to softer inflation, the office said.

The June reading, missing the median market forecast of 2.8%, was still above the central bank’s 2.0% target.

Compared with the prior month, the index remained flat in June following a 0.3% increase in May.

Core CPI, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, rose 3.5% from a year ago and 0.1% from a month earlier in June. It had gained 3.9% on year and 0.3% on month in May.

The Bank of Korea has since February paused its rate-increase campaign aimed at fighting inflation amid signs that the economy is losing steam.

The central bank is seen as gradually moving to ease policy after years of tightening.

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