Inflation hit 13% in April in Latvia

The latest data published by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) May 10 show that in April 2022, compared to April 2021, the average level of consumer prices increased by 13.0 %.

Compared to April 2021, in April 2022 the average level of consumer prices was mainly influenced by the rise in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, goods and services related to transport, goods and services related to housing, prices in miscellaneous goods and services group, prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, restaurant and hotel services, health care, as well as clothing and footwear. In brief... pretty much everything except books, which saw a price drop.

 

Compared to March 2022, in April 2022 the average level of consumer prices rose by 2.2 %. Rise in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, clothing and footwear, goods and services related to housing, goods and services related to transport, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, restaurant and hotel services, as well as drop in prices of goods and services related to recreation and culture had the strongest influence on the price changes.

 

According to Uldis Rutkaste, Head of the Bank of Latvia's Monetary Policy Department, speaking on Latvian Radio's Krustpunkta show, April is unlikely to be the high point for inflation this year, and it could reach 17% or 18% in coming months. According to him, if utilities tariffs increase even more in the autumn, comprehensive support for households in Latvia will have to be provided by state finances.

"Unfortunately, nothing will be pleasant this year. Inflation will most likely be in double digits every month, and we can only expect price growth to slow down next year," Rutkaste said.

Rising living costs are putting pressure on employers to raise salaries for employees, said Jānis Endziņš, Chairman of the Board of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LTRK), in the same discussion. "At some point, the employer may probably raise it at the expense of investment, which is not really a good thing," he said.

 

Price changes by commodity group (as per cent)

Commodity group

Price changes in April 2022, compared to:

April 2021

December 2021

March 2022

Total

13.0

7.3

2.2

food

17.4

12.1

3.6

alcohol, tobacco

6.0

4.6

1.9

clothing, footwear

5.6

10.8

8.9

housing

16.2

1.3

2.0

furnishings

7.5

4.4

0.0

health

5.9

3.9

0.6

transport

24.7

15.2

2.0

communication

1.2

0.8

0.1

recreation, culture

3.3

1.0

-0.8

education

-0.7

-4.3

-0.1

restaurants, hotels

10.3

5.7

2.7

miscellaneous

10.4

6.9

-0.3

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