SEOUL  - South Korea’s inflation rate came in at 1.6 percent in July, as stable food costs kept price rises well below the government’s target range, government data showed Friday.

The increase in the consumer price index was slightly down on the 1.7 percent rate posted in both May and June.

Prices of vegetables fell 15.2 percent from a year earlier, while fruits were down 6.6 percent and livestock 2.2 percent, Statistics Korea said.

“Consumer price growth slowed as the prices of some vegetables and livestock stabilised, bucking the usual trend of spiking in mid-summer,” Kim Bo-Kyung, the head of the agency’s prices statistics division, told journalists. The central Bank of Korea has set a band of 2.5-3.5 percent as its inflation target for this year.