Inflation set to ease in Oct. amid oil price woes: finance minister

South Korea's inflation is anticipated to begin slowing down next month amid lingering woes over soaring oil prices, the top economic policymaker said Friday.

"This year, the country's consumer prices are continuing on a path of decline," Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said during a government meeting ahead of the Chuseok holiday.

He said the country still needs to be vigilant as risks, including higher global crude prices, linger.

The Dubai crude price, South Korea's benchmark, stood at US$86.46 per barrel in August, up from $80.45 the previous month.

This month, global oil prices have continued to soar in the face of supply cuts.

Consumer prices, a key gauge of inflation, accelerated in August from the 2.3 percent increase in July. It was the highest on-year rise since the 3.7 percent growth tallied in April.

The finance minister added the government will spare no efforts to stabilize prices of major food items ahead of the Chuseok holiday, the autumn harvest celebration, which falls in late September.

Choo said measures to help lower the prices of 20 key items and offer discount coupons for agricultural items are being discussed.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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