Albania’s CPI inflation speeds up to 2.2% y/y in March 2014

By bne IntelliNews April 9, 2014

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            
  Mar-13 Dec-13 Jan-14 Feb-14 Mar-14 Q1 2014
TOTAL  2.4 1.9 1.7 1.9 2.2 1.9
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
Healthcare  1.1 -1.5 -1.3 -1.3 -1.4 -1.3
Transportation  -0.7 -1.2 0.6 0.9 0.9 0.8
Communication  1.3 -2.9 -2.8 -2.8 -2.8 -2.8
Recreation and Culture  0.8 -0.2 -0.2 0.1 0.3 0.0
Education  1.8 0.1 0.3 1.0 0.9 0.7
Hotels and Restaurants  1.7 1.9 1.8 1.9 2.7 2.1
Others  -3.5 3.3 1.6 5.6 11.0 6.1
Source: INSTAT            

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