Industrial prices dropped by 1.2% m/m in March after the 1.4% m/m decline in February, the statistics office INS announced on May 2. Meanwhile, industrial production price inflation stagnated at 3.9% y/y in March, flat from February, after it accelerated to the current level from the negative area last November.
The weakening of energy prices in February-March after their robust increase in December-January shaped the industrial prices’ dynamics. Nearly half of the 6.2% rise of energy goods prices in December-January was reversed by the decline in February-March.
Energy prices are still 5.9% up y/y, driven by movements in oil prices, and this is the main driver behind the overall industrial prices in the country. The Europe Brent spot price, expressed in euros, was an impressive 40% up y/y in March, although down from 82% y/y in January and 78% y/y in February.
The effect of the rising energy prices has gradually pushed up firstly the intermediary goods, which accelerated to 4.7% y/y in March from 3.7% y/y in February and 1.5% y/y in January. The least sensitive to the signal sent by the oil price correction were capital goods’ prices, which increased by only 2.1% y/y as of March, though up from 0.6% y/y in January. The industrial (production) prices of consumer goods increased by 2.8% y/y in March.