Consumer prices moved nearly 0.5 percent higher last month because of higher fruit and vegetable prices, as well as medical and tourism expenses, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) reported on Saturday.

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.43 percent year-on-year after a similar 0.43 percent rise in August, DGBAS data showed.

Core CPI, which excludes fruit, vegetables and energy prices, rose 0.52 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.

In the first nine months of this year, the CPI was up 0.51 percent from a year earlier, while core CPI rose 0.46 percent, the DGBAS said.

DGBAS Senior Executive Officer Chiou Shwu-chwen (邱淑純) told a news conference that inflation remained mild and stable.

Last month, food prices were up 1.97 percent year-on-year as the prices of fruit and vegetables rose 7.34 percent and 2.37 percent respectively, while healthcare expenses were 0.9 percent higher than a year earlier because of higher hospital registration fees and hospitalization costs, the DGBAS said.

Transportation and communications expenses fell 2.71 percent, the steepest fall in 43 months, on falling fuel prices and airfares, it said.

Prices for clothes and fashion items were down 0.98 percent from a year earlier, with help from summer promotions, it said.

The cost of a basket of 17 government-monitored household necessities, including rice, pork, bread, eggs, sugar, cooking oil, shampoo and toilet paper, fell 0.49 percent from a year earlier, after a 0.04 percent increase in August, the DGBAS said.

The wholesale price index (WPI) fell 4.53 percent, largely reflecting a drop in the prices of chemicals, crude oil, coal, drugs and base metals, DGBAS data showed.

In the first nine months of the year, the WPI decreased 1.27 percent year-on-year, the data showed.