Albania’s consumer prices increased by 2.1% y/y in May 2013, slowing down from a 2.3% annual rise in April, the statistics institute, INSTAT, said on its website. The growth, however, was above the 1.9% y/y rate recorded in May 2012. In monthly terms, consumer prices declined by 1% in May after edging down by 0.1% m/m in April.
Food prices increased by an annual 4.9%, continuing its upward trend from the past five months. The growth was mainly driven by a 28.6% rise in vegetable prices and an 5.7% y/y increase in prices of fruits. Prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco went up 4.3% y/y in May after advancing 3.5% y/y in the previous month. Communications and education services costs grew by 1.3% and 1.8% y/y, respectively, advancing at the same pace as in the previous four months. Costs of transport reversed to a 0.5% y/y rise, which resulted from a 0.9% y/y growth in the costs of both equipment operations of personal transportation and transportation services. By contrast, lower prices of clothing and footwear (down 3.6% y/y) continued to exert downward pressure on the inflation. Regulated prices registered a 1% y/y drop in the month.
In our estimates, the average inflation rate was equal to 2.4% in January to May 2013, up from 1.3% in the same period of 2012.
The central bank decided on May 29 to keep the base interest rate at its historic low of 3.75% for a fourth consecutive month after cutting it by 25bps in January. The decision is in line with the objectives to meet the mid-term inflation target, while providing necessary stimulus to support lending growth and consumption.
|Consumer prices, % y/y|
|Food and Drink||1.9||4.4||5.6||5.7||4.9||5.1|
|Alcohol and Tobacco||1.2||3.8||3.6||3.5||4.3||3.8|
|Clothing and Footwear||-2.0||-3.1||-3.4||-3.4||-3.6||-3.4|
|Rent and Utilities||1.3||0.3||-0.5||-0.9||-1.0||-0.5|
|Furniture and Maintenance||1.6||1.3||1.3||1.2||0.7||1.2|
|Recreation and Culture||1.8||1.7||0.8||0.3||0.4||0.9|
|Hotels and Restaurants||1.9||1.9||1.7||1.8||1.5||1.8|
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