Consumer prices in South Korea were up 0.9 percent on year in January, Statistics Korea said on Thursday.
That was well shy of forecasts for 1.5 percent, which would have been unchanged from the December reading.
On a monthly basis, inflation was up 0.5 percent, accelerating from 0.3 percent in the previous month.
Core CPI, which excludes food prices, gained 0.2 percent on month and 1.1 on year after rising 0.2 percent on month and 1.5 percent on year a month earlier.
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