Surrogacy and car washing costs…”There’s nothing that hasn’t gone up in service prices.”

As the COVID-19 quarantine rules ease, service prices, which have been quiet, are rising in all directions. Analysts say that it could act as another inflationary pressure amid soaring raw material and energy prices due to the Ukraine crisis.

According to the National Statistical Portal (KOSIS) of the National Statistical Office on the 9th, personal service prices rose 4.5 percent year-on-year last month. This is the largest increase in 13 years since January 2009 (4.8%). The inflation contribution of personal services to the total consumer inflation rate (4.78%) was 1.40 percentage points, followed by industrial products (2.70 percentage points).

Excluding eating out (3.1%) was lower in inflation than 6.6% among personal services. However, by item, domestic group travel costs (20.1%), proxy driving fees (13.1%), insurance service fees (10.3%), domestic airfare (8.8%), car wash fees (8.1%), movie tickets (7.7%), passenger fares (7.2%), nursing assistants (7.1%), and bath fees (6.8%) exceeded the inflation rate. Laundry fees (5.9%), courier fees (5.4%), golf course fees and hotel accommodation fees (5.4%), housekeeping and photo service fees (5.1%), sauna fees (4.8%), and parking fees (4.7%) also showed relatively large increases.

The inflation rate of personal services remained at 1.0 to 1.1% in February to August 2020, the first year of the spread of COVID-19, but rose to 3% in November after entering the 2% range in March last year. In particular, it soared to around 4 percent in February this year. It is analyzed that demand, which had been suppressed due to the prolonged COVID-19, is slowly recovering, which is also acting as inflationary pressure. In particular, consumption is expected to become more active as social distancing is completely lifted from the 18th of last month.

However, it is pointed out that the possibility of soaring prices increases as demand increases. Right now, the market is gaining momentum on the observation that the inflation rate could reach 6% in the second half. Lee Da-eun, an economist at Daishin Securities, said, “With the lifting of social distancing, the increase in service prices has expanded as expected. As expected inflation continues to rise, the risk of inflation will gradually increase.”