In March 2021, the inflation rate rose to 2.3% year-on-year, and 0.2% from the previous month. The growth was mainly due to the increase in fuel prices, while essential goods and services have become cheaper since last year. Photo Credit: Freepik / Illustrative Photo.
Czech Rep., Apr 16 (BD) – The Czech Republic has among the highest rates of inflation in the EU, and in March 2021, consumer prices recorded a year-on-year increase of 2.3%, compared to 2.1% in February, according to data published this week by the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO).
“The growth of fuel prices represents the most significant share in this increase. The average price of petrol was CZK 30.47 per litre, the highest since last February. The average price of diesel was CZK 29.14 per litre, the most expensive since March 2020”, said Pavla Šedivá, Head of the CZSO Consumer Price Statistics Department,.
Prices of alcohol and tobacco increased by 2.5% compared to February. Prices of clothes and shoes also increased, by 0.6% and 1.1% respectively. On the other hand, essential goods and services have become cheaper. Vegetable prices, for instance, decreased 3.9% in a month.
Overall prices of goods have grown by 0.4% between February and March, while prices of services decreased by 0.3%, due to weak demand in the services sector, which has been severely affected by restrictive health measures for over a year.
Year-on-year, prices of tobacco products have risen by 17.5%, automobile prices grew by 9.3%, and financial services are 8.5% more expensive than last year. On the other hand, vegetable prices decreased by 6.2%, and potatoes by a full 29%. Electricity and natural gas prices fell by 3.4% and 4.7% respectively.
“The price of oil sharply increased in the first three months of 2021, and it will result in higher prices in the transport sector in the upcoming months. Tobacco products will also become more expensive, and I expect a slight increase in food prices,” said Miroslav Novák, an analyst at Akcenta, quoted by Czech news site novinky.cz.
The Czech National Bank (CNB) has set an inflation target of 2%, with a tolerance margin of 1-3%, in which the central bank will try to maintain year-on-year inflation rate.
“Prices are starting to rise slowly. We can expect steeper growth this year. It can be assumed that inflation will be around 3% in the summer,” Jana Mücková, an economist from the LOGeco group, told Novinky.cz.