Hong Kong's consumer prices rose by 2.1 percent in February year-on-year, official data showed on Thursday.
The figure is smaller than the corresponding increase of 2.4 percent in January, according to the Census and Statistics Department of the government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Netting out the effects of all government's one-off relief measures, the year-on-year rate of increase in the Composite Consumer Price Index (underlying inflation rate) in February was 2.6 percent, down from January's 3 percent, mainly due to the smaller increases in the costs for meals bought away from home and the charges for package tours.
Consumer prices tend to show greater volatility in the first two months of a year due to the timing of the Lunar New Year. As the Chinese New Year fell in early February this year but in mid-February last year, the year-on-year comparison of the figures for January and February 2019 might have been affected by this factor to a certain extent.
Taking the first two months of 2019 together to neutralize the effect of the Lunar New Year, the Composite Consumer Price Index rose by 2.3 percent over a year earlier. Netting out the effect of all government's one-off relief measures, the Composite Consumer Price Index rose by 2.8 percent in the first two months of 2019 over a year earlier.
A government spokesman said that underlying inflation was largely stable in recent months. Taking the first two months of 2019 together, the underlying inflation rate edged down to 2.8 percent from 2.9 percent in December 2018.