Iran Inflation Rate at 22-Month High of 49.5%
The annual inflation rate in Iran increased to 49.5 percent in April 2021, the most since June 2019, from 48.7 percent in the previous month, due mainly to faster rise in prices of both housing & utilities (29.8% vs 28.4%) and transport (56.3% vs 54.0%). Also, inflation accelerated for furniture & household equipment (71.3% vs 68.3% in March), clothing & footwear (55.6% vs 52.1%), restaurants & hotels (58.1% vs 49.1%), recreation & culture (61.7% vs 60.1%), miscellaneous goods & services (53.4% vs 47.8%), and health & medical services (44.3% vs 40.2%). Meanwhile, prices continued to increase for food & non-alcoholic beverages (63.5% vs 67.0%), communication (19.4% vs 20.3%), and tobacco (47.9% vs 51.7%). On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 2.7 percent in April, the most in 5 months, accelerating from a 1.8 percent rise in March.
Philippines Retail Prices Rise the Most in 2 Years
The retail price index in the Philippines increased by 1.8 percent year-on-year in March 2021, after a 1.4 percent gain in the previous month. This was the highest reading since April 2019, with cost rising for all categories: food (2.3 percent vs 2.3 percent in February), beverages and tobacco (6.5 percent vs 6.5 percent), crude materials (2 percent vs 2.1 percent), mineral fuels, lubricants, and related materials (9 percent vs -0.7 percent, chemicals (0.8 percent vs flat reading), manufactured goods (0.9 percent vs 0.9 percent), machinery and transport equipment (0.3 percent vs flat reading), and miscellaneous manufactures articles (0.2 percent vs 0.3 percent).
South Korea Import Hits Record High
Imports to South Korea climbed 33.9 percent year-on-year to a record high USD 50.80 billion in April 2021, beating market forecasts of a 31.2 percent growth and after an 18.8 percent increase a month earlier, as domestic demand accelerated in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
South Korea Exports Rise the Most in Over a Decade
Exports from South Korea soared 41.1% yoy to USD 51.19 billion in April 2021, much faster than a 16.6% growth in March and compared with market expectations of a 44% jump. This was the sixth straight month of increase in outbound shipments and the steepest pace since January 2011, amid strengthening global demand in the aftermath of the COVID- crisis. The latest reading was also supported by a low base in 2020. Sales of semiconductors, the country’s top export, surged 30.2%, the tenth straight month of growth; while those of cars and petrochemical products climbed 73.4% and 82.6%, respectively. Exports also grew for displays (43.5%), ships (14.3%), and rechargeable batteries (28%). Shipments to China jumped 31.7%, while those to the US gained 43%. Both sales hit their highest for any April month. Sales also rose to Southeast Asia nations (45.5%), and Japan (23.9%), while shipments to India more than doubled as New Delhi expanded its infrastructure spending.