Montenegro's consumer prices decline 0.9% y/y in March 2014

By bne IntelliNews April 15, 2014

Montenegro's consumer price index (CPI) dropped for a third straight month in March 2014, going down by 0.9% y/y after decreasing by 0.6% y/y the month before, the statistics office said on April 15. The reading was dragged down by a deeper decline of food, clothing and footwear and recreation and culture costs.

In monthly terms, the CPI inched up 0.1% in March after recording a zero monthly growth in February. March’s CPI decreased 1.4% compared to the 2013 average.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages price deflation deepened to 1.2% y/y in March from 0.9% y/y the month before. March’s decline continues to be mainly driven by falling bread, oils and fats, milk products and sugar and jam costs.

Recreation and culture charges went down 4.4% y/y in March after dropping 4.2% the month before. Clothing and footwear costs declined 4.9% y/y in March following a 2.2% y/y contraction in February. Transport prices fell 1.9% y/y in March softening from a 2.1% y/y contraction in February due to a slower decline of fuel and lubricants costs. Communication charges fell 4.3% y/y in March, dropping for the ninth straight month, likewise, pushing the overall index down.

Prices of alcoholic beverages rose 7.5% y/y in March, recording the same annual growth as the month before.

Montenegro's average inflation in 2013 eased to 2.2% from 4.1% a year ago mainly due to a slower growth of utilities and alcoholic beverages costs and falling transport charges.

According to the IMF’s April 2014 World Economic Outlook (WEO), inflation in the country should ease to just 0.2% in 2014, likely reflecting subdued domestic demand.

Montenegro's CPI, y/y,% Oct'13 Nov'13 Dec'13 Jan'14 Feb'14 Mar'14
TOTAL 0.5 0.0 0.3 -0.4 -0.6 -0.9
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 0.3 -0.8 -0.6 -0.9 -0.9 -1.2
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco  7.7 7.4 7.4 7.9 7.5 7.5
Clothing and footwear  1.3 -0.6 0.3 -1.3 -2.2 -4.9
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels 1.9 2.1 1.7 -0.2 0.0 0.0
Furnishings, household equipement and routine hous. Maintenance -0.5 -0.8 -0.1 0.8 0.7 -0.3
Health 1.5 1.5 1.4 1.9 1.9 2.7
Transport -3.4 -2.8 -1.1 -1.5 -2.1 -1.9
Communications -0.7 -0.6 -0.7 -4.4 -4.3 -4.3
Recreation and culture -2.6 -2.9 -2.7 -4 -4.2 -4.4
Education 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
Restaurants and hotels -0.7 0.1 0.1 1.3 1.3 0.6
Miscellaneous goods and services 4.6 3.1 3 2.6 2.3 1.5
Source: Monstat            

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