Dining out prices rise in South Korea for the 27th consecutive month

Dining out prices rise in South Korea for the 27th consecutive month

haps Magazine Korea

For over 20 consecutive months, the inflation rate for dining out and processed food prices has outpaced the general consumer price inflation rate, putting a noticeable strain on consumers’ wallets.

Food, particularly dining out and processed items, has become a focal point of rising prices, leaving many expressing their concerns about the surging costs.

According to the National Statistical Office’s National Statistics Portal, the consumer price index for restaurant items in August of this year stood at 118.10, indicating a 5.3% increase compared to the same month last year.

This surge is notably higher than the overall consumer price increase rate, which was at 3.4% during the same period. Fortunately, the rate did drop from the peak of 7.6% recorded in April but remains elevated.

This concerning trend of restaurant price hikes has persisted for a staggering 27 months, spanning from June 2021 to August this year.

In the restaurant sector, specific items experienced even more substantial price surges.

Pizza prices led the pack with a notable 10.8% increase, followed closely by tteokbokki and kimbap, both at 7.4%. Other culinary favorites such as hamburgers, porridge, and ramen also saw significant hikes, adding to the financial burden of diners.

Processed food prices are no exception to this inflationary trend, surpassing the overall average for 21 months.

In the previous month, the inflation rate for processed foods reached 6.3%, marking a substantial 2.9 percentage points above the average consumer price increase.

Analyzing specific processed food items, dressings topped the list with a staggering 31.1% increase, followed by red pepper paste and cheese at 21.9% and 21.2%, respectively.

Other staples such as sesame oil, soybean paste, and pasta noodles also witnessed substantial price hikes.

Even popular consumer products like ice cream, coffee, soy milk, and ramen surpassed the 10% mark in price increases, further deepening concerns about the cost of living.

Data from the Korea Consumer Agency revealed that Jajangmyeon experienced the most significant price hike over the past nine years, skyrocketing by 55.4%.

Other menu items, including bibimbap and cold noodles, also witnessed substantial price increases.

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