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June 1, 2020, 9:07 p.m. EDT

South Korea's inflation slows to 8-month low

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By Kwanwoo Jun

South Korea's consumer inflation slowed to an eight-month low in May as the coronavirus pandemic continued to weigh on the economy.

The benchmark consumer-price index fell 0.3% from a year earlier after the prior month's 0.1% gain, said the statistical office Tuesday.

The latest reading--the lowest since September--missed market expectations for a 0.2% decrease.

The office attributed the waker-than-expected inflation to lower global oil prices due to the pandemic-suppressed demand.

Compared with the prior month, the index fell 0.2% in May in line with market expectations. The latest reading followed the previous month's 0.6% decrease.

Core CPI, which strips out volatile energy and food prices, edged up 0.1% from a year ago in May, unchanged from the prior month's pace. From a month ago, it also gained 0.1%, compared with the previous month's 0.2% fall.

Write to Kwanwoo Jun at kwanwoo.jun@wsj.com

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