Hong Kong's consumer price inflation eased unexpectedly in April to reach its lowest level in three months, data released by the Census and Statistics Department showed on Monday.
Consumer prices climbed 1.3 percent year-on-year in April, slower than March's 1.7 percent increase. Economists had forecast inflation to accelerate to 1.9 percent.
Netting out the effects of all government's one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation also eased to 1.6 percent in April from 1.7 percent in the previous month.
The latest downward trend in inflation was mainly due to the slower increases in the prices of basic food, particularly fresh vegetables.
Prices for basic food grew 5.2 percent annually in April and those of clothing and footwear rose 3.6 percent.
Transport charges increased 1.8 percent, while housing costs registered a decline of 0.6 percent.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices dropped 0.2 percent in April.
"Looking ahead, while external price pressures are expected to remain intensive in view of elevated inflation in many major economies, overall inflation should stay moderate in the near term as domestic cost pressures remain largely mild," a government spokesman said.