在食品价格和租金上涨的推动下,香港上个月的通胀率升至10年来最高水平。
Hong Kong’s inflation rose to its highest level in ten years last month, pushed by rising food prices and rents.

2月份的消费者价格指数(CPI)较上年同期上升6.3%,高于1月份4.3%的升幅,也高于分析师普遍预期的4.9%。
February’s consumer price index increased 6.3 per cent compared to last year, up from a 4.3 per cent increase recorded in January, and above analysts’ consensus estimates of 4.9 per cent.

上月有许多一次性因素推高了通胀率,其中包括席卷中国大部分地区的恶劣严冬天气限制了对香港的食品供应。香港的食品供应大多依赖于内地。但经济学家们表示,香港通胀率的潜在趋势显然是向上。
A number of one-off factors drove inflation higher last month, such as the severe winter weather across most of China that restricted food supply to Hong Kong, which relies on the mainland for much of its nourishment. But economists said the underlying trend for Hong Kong’s inflation is clearly upwards.

香港可以用来解决通胀问题的货币政策工具很有限,因为香港实行的是联系汇率制,其利率决策唯美联储(Fed)马首是瞻。
Hong Kong is constrained in the monetary tools it has available to tackle inflation since the Hong Kong dollar’s peg to the US currency leaves it subject to the interest rate whims of the Federal Reserve.

香港科技大学(Hong Kong’s University of Science and Technology)经济学教授雷鼎铭(Francis Lui)表示,对香港而言,维持联系汇率制的理由越来越站不住脚。
Francis Lui, an economics professor at Hong Kong’s University of Science and Technology, said the argument for maintaining the peg was becoming ”more difficult” for Hong Kong to maintain.

他表示,香港的经济周期不再与美国同步,由于实行联系汇率制,“政府除了忍着,没有多少选择。”
The territory’s economic cycle is no longer synchronised with that of the US and, with the peg in place, ”all that the government can do is to ride it out. There are not many options,” he said.

目前已经有迹象表明,高通胀率加上低利率,已经开始在香港造成资产泡沫。
There are already signs that high inflation rates combined with low interest rates are creating asset bubbles in Hong Kong.

目前,多数银行在香港收取的抵押贷款利率为3%,而6.3%的通胀率意味着实际利率水平绝对处于负值。这刺激了房地产价格的快速上涨,如今已接近1997年地产泡沫时期的最高水平。仅在1月份,新批的抵押贷款就较前1个月增长了30%。
Inflation of 6.3 per cent means the real interest rate on mortgage loans, for which most banks now charge around 3 per cent in the territory, is firmly negative. This has spurred a rapid rise in property prices, which are now approaching heights last seen during the 1997 property bubble. New mortgage loan approvals in January alone increased 30 per cent compared to the month before.

不过,雷鼎铭表示,不断膨胀的资产泡沫是“富人的问题”,而且要好于可能出现的相反现象。这里所说的相反现象,指的是美联储在香港经济放缓时加息。
Mr Lui, however, said the developing asset bubbles were a ”rich man’s problem” and were much better than the potential inverse, which would see the Fed raising interest rates as the Hong Kong economy slowed.