Serbia’s headline inflation, reported under COICOP methodology, reached 0.1% m/m and 3.2% y/y in September, according to statistics office data released on October 12.
Inflation in Serbia is expected to accelerate further after in 2016 consumer prices rose by an average of 1.2% from 2015. The European Commission expects the CPI in Serbia to reach 3.4% in 2017, and 3.5% in 2018, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) envisages inflation of 3.4% in 2017 and 3% in 2018.
Serbia’s central bank, the National Bank of Serbia (NBS), said in a short note on October 12 that the low monthly inflation was supported by the seasonal fall in the prices of travel packages and lower prices of processed food. Seasonally expected price hikes were recorded for fresh vegetables and firewood.
“Consistent with expectations, in September y-o-y inflation returned to its July level of 3.2%, after declining in August due to the high base effect from meat prices. Core inflation (measured by changes in CPI excluding the prices of food, energy, alcohol and cigarettes) measured 1.5% y-o-y in September, the same as in the month before. According to the NBS central projection, y-o-y inflation will continue to move within the target tolerance band of 3.0%±1.5 pp,” the NBS said.
Meanwhile, the statistical office data showed that the increase of prices in monthly terms was noted in the following groups: food and non-alcoholic beverages (1%), restaurants and hotels (0.9%), furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (0.5%), housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels and clothing and footwear (by 0.4%, each group) and communication (0.1%). On the other hand, a decrease of prices was recorded in recreation and culture (-5.7%) and transport (-0.1%).
Prices of other products and services mostly remained unchanged, the statistical office said.
When compared with December 2016, the CPI in Serbia in September increased 2.8%.