Albania’s consumer prices increased by 2.2% y/y in March 2014, speeding up from 1.9% y/y in the previous month, the statistics institute, INSTAT, informed. The annual growth, however, was below its year-ago level of 2.4%.
In monthly terms, consumer prices increased by 0.5% in March, slower than February’s rise of 1.4%.
Food prices, which traditionally determine the overall trend, grew by 2.8% y/y, easing from a 2.9% hike in February 2014. The growth was mainly supported by a 15.2% y/y increase in fruit prices and a 13.6% rise in vegetable prices. At the same time, prices of all other food items (except for fish) as well as of non-alcoholic beverages declined in March.
Prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco increased by 6.8% y/y in March, faster than February’s rise of 6.3% y/y. Regulated prices registered a 2.1% y/y increase in the month.
Transport charges picked up by 0.9% y/y, driven by a 2.5% y/y growth in equipment operations of personal transportation.
By contrast, lower prices of clothing and footwear (down 3.2% y/y) and communications (down 2.8% y/y) continued to exert a downward pressure on the reading. Among others, costs of furniture household declined by 1% y/y.
In our estimates, the average inflation rate was equal to 1.9% in Q1 2014, down from 2.5% in the same period a year earlier.
|Consumer prices, % y/y|
|Food and Drink||5.6||3.5||2.7||2.9||2.8||2.8|
|Alcohol and Tobacco||3.6||4.2||7.3||6.3||6.8||6.8|
|Clothing and Footwear||-3.4||-3.4||-2.7||-3.4||-3.2||-3.1|
|Rent and Utilities||-0.5||2.3||2.0||2.0||2.1||2.0|
|Furniture and Maintenance||1.3||-0.5||-0.7||-0.7||-1.0||-0.8|
|Recreation and Culture||0.8||-0.2||-0.2||0.1||0.3||0.0|
|Hotels and Restaurants||1.7||1.9||1.8||1.9||2.7||2.1|
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