Year-on-year growth in consumer prices accelerated to 3.0 percent in March, the Czech Statistics Office reported on Wednesday. It is the highest year-on-year price growth since October 2012.
The growth in consumer prices in March was driven mainly by higher costs of basic necessities, such as food, household rent, water and electricity. On the contrary, clothing and telecommunications prices dropped in annual terms.
The results have exceeded analysts’ expectations.
In February, consumer prices rose in annual terms by 2.7 percent. In terms of the month-on-month comparison, consumer prices in March increased by 0.2 percent, driven mainly by the price of electricity.
The year-on-year growth came primarily from hikes in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages. The price of potatoes increased by 74.5 percent, bread and cereals by 3.3 percent and butter by nearly 9 percent. Prices of fruit, eggs and sugar dropped, however, and their year-on-year price decline slowed down.
According to the Czech Statistics Office, the biggest influence on the year-on-year consumer price increase in March came from the housing market. Household rents rose by 3.6 percent, while water supply and sewage collection costs increased by 2.6 percent and natural gas by 3.6 percent.
Prices of electricity also went up by nearly 12 percent and prices of heat energy by 4.5 percent. In transport, prices of fuels accelerated their rise to 2.1 percent.
Prices of goods and services also affected the overall price level increase, with the price of wellness services rising by 4.1percent and prices of both insurance and financial services by 4.8 percent. Prices of catering services were up 4.0 percent, while accommodation services by 2.9 percent.
Export prices in March grew by 3.4 percent year-on-year, while import prices increased by 3.3 percent. The trend in the monthly export price index was essentially affected by an increase in prices of machinery and transport equipment, the Czech Statistics Office said on Wednesday.
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