South Korea's consumer price growth fell below the average of G7 countries for the first time in eight years in 2014, official data showed Thursday, fueling concerns that the country is heading towards a deflationary spiral.
According to data released by the South Korean Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, South Korea's consumer price index stood at 1.3 percent last year, lower than the 1.6 percent tallied for the seven major advanced economies.
The 0.3 percentage point gap is noteworthy because the G7 - made up of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States - consists of fully developed economies that have long ago entered a period of slow growth and low inflation rates.
Of the seven, Japan, Canada, the United States and Britain reported higher CPIs vis-a-vis South Korea.
South Korea's inflation numbers only dipped below the G7 average twice before, in 1999 and in 2006. South Korea's inflation growth stood at 1.3 percent in 2013, which was on par with numbers for the Group of Seven.
Even compared to the 34 member OECD's average of 1.7 percent, South Korea's CPI was lower, marking the second year in a row that the country's inflation numbers remained locked in the 1 percent range.
The sluggish showing is way short of the Bank of Korea's 2.5-3.5 percent mid-range inflation target.