Latvia's consumer price index (CPI) remained flat in annual terms in August, data released by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) on September 8 showed.
The reading comes after July recorded the first positive inflation reading – 0.1% - in annual terms in 2016. That sees August the second month in a row that the CPI has evaded deflation. In monthly terms, however, prices fell 0.7% in August, clearly faster then the drop of 0.3% in July.
As has been standard recently, it was price falls in the transport sector - last month by 3.7% y/y - that proved the main drag on the headline index. Prices in the clothing and footwear segment also declined, by 2.3%.
Those falls were balanced by rises in most other segments. The communication segment enjoyed the biggest gain of 3.6%. Food prices grew more slowly, at 0.5%, against 0.9% in July.
“As commodity prices continue to recover, we expect that goods prices will slowly grow and add to positive annual inflation. However, for 2016 in total we forecast average annual inflation [at] 0% due to deflation in the first half of the year,” Swedbank writes. The European Commission forecast in the spring that Latvian CPI will rise just 0.2% through the full year.