Montenegro's EU harmonised inflation index (HICP) remained flat on the year in February 2014 after edging up 0.1% y/y the month before, the statistics office said on March 19. The reading was dragged down by falling food, clothing and footwear, transport, communications and recreation and culture charges, which were offset by rising alcoholic beverages and restaurant and hotels costs.
In monthly terms, the HICP index inched up 0.1% in February after declining 0.4% in January.
Food charges fell for the fifth straight month in February, going down by 1.0% after dropping 0.9% y/y the month before, due to lower bread, oils, milk and sugar and jam costs. Transport price deflation deepened to 1.8% y/y in February from 1.2% y/y in January. Recreation and culture charges fell 2.4% y/y in February, recording the same annual drop as the month before. Communication costs retreated 4.3% y/y in February, the same as in January, likewise, pushing the overall index down.
On the other hand, alcoholic beverages and tobacco costs grew 6.9% y/y in February, slowing from a 7.7% y/y hike in January. Restaurant and hotels prices, went up 2.2% y/y in February quickening from a 2.1% y/y growth the month before.
The average HICP inflation in 2013 eased to 1.8% from 4.0% a year ago thanks to weaker food prices growth and falling transport, furnishings and recreation and culture costs.
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