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1.8% inflation in October

Overall consumer prices rose 1.8% in October year-on-year, smaller than the 4.4% increase in September, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Netting out the effects of the Government's one-off relief measures, the underlying inflation rate was 1.7%, slightly less than September's 1.8%.   Compared with October last year, price increases were recorded for electricity, gas and water; clothing and footwear; meals out and takeaway food; basic food; alcoholic drinks and tobacco; transport; miscellaneous services, miscellaneous goods and housing.   On the other hand, a year-on-year decrease in price was recorded for durable goods.    The Government said that underlying consumer price inflation remained moderate in October.   The year-on-year increase in food prices showed some moderation, though remained relatively fast. Prices of clothing and footwear continued to record a visible increase, while those of energy-related items rose sharply. Price pressur

Asset freeze explained

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)   Secretary for Security John Lee today said notices issued last week for freezing of property in writing to freeze all the shares of Next Digital held by Jimmy Lai and the property in the local bank accounts of three companies owned by him are a national security matter and have nothing to do with press freedom.   Responding to reporters' questions, Mr Lee said: “Any activities that endanger national security will not be tolerated. Such activities, people or organisations will receive the full force of the law.”   Pursuant to Schedule 3 to the Implementation Rules for Article 43 of the National Security Law, where the Secretary for Security has reasonable grounds to suspect that any property held by any person is offence related property, the secretary may, by notice specifying the property, direct that a person must not deal with the property except under the authority of a licence granted by the secretary.   Mr Lee noted that issuing the notices aimed to prevent acts that endangered national security in accordance with the law and had no direct relation to the work of journalists.   “Endangering national security is a very serious crime. The Government’s position is very clear - we will make use of all legal measures to prevent, interdict and suppress such activities endangering national security. It is illegal activities that we are dealing with, not press work.”
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