As the prices of foods that ordinary people like to eat, such as ramen, beef, and pork belly, soared, last month, the price of eating out food recorded the highest increase in 13 years. In addition to external supply factors such as rising prices of grain grains and petroleum products, it is interpreted that the upward trend has accelerated due to internal upward pressures such as increased demand and exhaustion of food stocks.
According to the National Statistical Portal of the National Statistical Office (KOSIS) on the 6th, the rate of increase in the price index for eating out in January (compared to the same month of the previous year) was 5.5%, the highest in 12 years and 11 months since February 2009 (5.6%).
Among the 39 items surveyed for restaurant prices, galbitang (11.0%) and sashimi (9.4%). Beef (8.0%), gimbap (7.7%), hamburger (7.6%), seolleongtang (7.5%), ramen (7.0%), jjajangmyeon (6.9%), chicken (6.3%), pork belly (5.9%), pork cutlet ( 5.7%) and almost all food service items rose compared to a year ago. The prices of processed foods such as wheat flour (12.1%), noodles (27.8%), cooking oil (14.4%), milk (6.6%), fish cakes (6.6%), ham and bacon (5.2%) also rose 4.2% from the previous year, up 4.2% in August 2014. It showed the highest increase rate in 7 years and 5 months since the month (4.5%).
This is due to an increase in external pressure, such as rising international grain and petroleum prices, which have continued since last year. The World Food Price Index for January released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was 135.7, the highest since 2011. FAO monitors international price trends for 24 items since 1996, and compiles and publishes monthly food price indexes for each of the five item groups (grains, oils and fats, meat, dairy products, and sugar). As Korea is highly dependent on imports of grain, the higher the index rises, the greater the cost of food for households.
Internally, demand-side pressure is also increasing. Excluding items that are greatly affected by the supply side, such as seasonal factors or temporary shocks, core prices rose 3.0% in the month of last month compared to the same month of the previous year. This is the largest increase in 10 years since January 2012 (3.1%). Overall, the consumer price index last month rose 3.6% from the same month last year, recording the 3% level for four months in a row since October (3.2%).
The authorities predicted that the rise in personal services such as dining out and processed food would continue this month, putting upward pressure on the overall consumer price index. Eo Woon-seon, director of economic trend statistics at Statistics Korea, explained, “While the prices of industrial products such as petroleum and processed foods and livestock and fishery products such as livestock and fruits have continued to rise, the price of personal services is increasing mainly at restaurants.”