Annual inflation at 2.9% last year

The annual inflation rate in Latvia was at 2.9% last year, according to the Central Statistical Bureau.

At the same time, in December 2017, compared to December 2016, the average level of consumer prices rose by 2.2 percent. Prices of goods increased by two percent and prices of services by 2.6 percent.

Furthermore, consumer prices in December of last year, when compared to the previous month remained unchanged.

When looking at the previous year, it was characteristic with a rise in the food prices. The price of milk grew by 13.7 percent, resulting in an increase in prices of dairy products – sour cream (26.5 percent), kefir (16.8 percent), butter (55.8 percent), curd (5.8 percent), cream (17.1 percent), and cheese (2.6 percent). Sharp upturn was recorded also in prices of eggs (24.7 percent). An increase was observed in prices of dried, salted or smoked meat (4.1 percent), pork (6 percent) and poultry (2.6 percent). Price rises were witnessed in apples (34.1 percent), potatoes (12 percent) and bakery products (2.5 percent).

However, a reduction was registered in prices of several food products: sugar (26.1 percent), cucumbers (18.7 percent), ground coffee (7.2 percent), grapes (16.9 percent), fresh or chilled fish (4.3 percent) and bell pepper (10.2 percent). The average level of food and non-alcoholic beverage prices grew by 3.8 percent over the year.

During the year, the expenses of car owners rose notably, which was caused by the significant increase in prices of motor vehicle insurance (by 64.1 percent), fuel for transport (4.8 percent), of which petrol by 6.3 percent and diesel by 4.4 percent. Growth was observed also in prices of maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment.

The average level of prices of goods and services related to housing as well as health care increased – by two percent and three percent, respectively. A rise was recorded in prices of heat energy (3.5 percent), solid fuels (6.5 percent), natural gas (9.8 percent), refuse collection (6.2 percent), as well as services for the maintenance and repair of housing (3.4 percent). Upturn in prices of health care was influenced by the growth in prices of pharmaceutical products (by 2.8 percent) and dental services (5.7 percent), as well as prices in medical specialist practices (2.6 percent).

Within the miscellaneous goods and services group, the average level of prices grew by 7.1 percent, which along with motor vehicle insurance price rise was mostly due to the increase in prices of articles for personal hygiene and beauty products.

In its turn, reduction in the average level of prices was observed within the furnishings group – by 1.8 percent. Decline was registered in prices of household cleaning and maintenance products (by 6.1 percent), household textiles, household furniture, and furnishings.

Among other commodity groups, the most significant growth was recorded in prices of second-hand motor cars, tobacco products, catering services, and telecommunication services. Decline, in turn, was observed in prices of passenger transport by air and passenger transport by road, spirits, beer, and footwear.

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