South Korea inflation likely to ease in November – finance minister

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean inflation is likely to ease in November to about 3.6% as prices of agricultural products have started to fall, the finance minister said on Sunday.

South Korea’s consumer price index stood 3.8% higher in October from a year ago, the fastest inflation rate since March 2023 and above the 3.6% forecast by a Reuters poll.

“Oil prices have been falling a little bit recently. If this is the trend, the inflation rate will be around 3.5% to 3.6%, and this kind of price stabilisation will happen gradually, albeit slowly,” Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho told public broadcaster KBS TV.

Consumer inflation accelerated for a third month in October amid higher food costs, keeping policymakers on edge as they are monitoring whether current interest rates are tight enough to bring inflation to heel.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park and Jihoon Lee; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)