The Lithuanian consumer price index (CPI) grew 3% y/y in February, accelerating on the 2.3% annual growth recorded the previous month, Statistics Lithuania announced on March 8.
Inflation has now remained positive every month since January 2016, supported by rising household income and stabilising oil prices. The index grew 0.3% in monthly terms in February, slowing slightly from a 0.4% expansion the previous month.
In annual terms, prices increased in most segments, with commodities leading the way. Prices in transport expanded 8% and food prices 4.4%. Prices fell in the communication sector, contracting 3.1%. There also was a drop of 2.1% in the utility sector and a 0.1% dip in clothing and shoes.
The divergence between price growth in the goods segment versus that in the services segment became smaller, continuing a trend visible since October. Goods prices gained 2.9% while services became 3.2% more expensive.
Swedbank expects that average annual inflation will reach 3.0% this year; the European Commission’s forecast is for an expansion of 2.1%. Annual average inflation in 2016 came in at 0.9%.