South Korea's consumer prices rose at the fastest clip in nearly 24 years in June due mainly to soaring energy costs, data showed Tuesday, fanning expectations of a sharp rate hike this month, Trend reports citing Yonhap.
Consumer prices soared 6 percent last month from a year earlier, accelerating from a 5.4 percent on-year spike in May, according to the data from Statistics Korea.
It marked the sharpest inflation rate since a 6.8 percent jump in November 1998, when South Korea was in the midst of the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.
Consumer prices rose above 2 percent -- the central bank's inflation target over the medium term -- for the 15th straight month in June.
South Korea faces growing inflationary pressure, as crude oil and other commodity prices rose due to the protracted war between Russia and Ukraine, and global supply disruptions. Demand-pull inflation has also increased amid the economic recovery.
The statistics agency said inflation is expected to stay at the 6 percent range for the time being.
"If the current trend continues, annual inflation could exceed the 4.7 percent forecast (by the finance ministry)," Eo Woon-sun, a senior Statistics Korea official, told reporters.