Annual consumer price growth slows down for seventh consecutive month

Photo: Václav Plecháček / Czech Radio

Year-on-year consumer price growth in the Czech Republic slowed down to 2.1 percent in February, down from 2.2 percent in the previous month, according to data released by the Czech Statistics Office on Tuesday. The annual growth of consumer prices has been moderately slowing down for seventh month in a row.

Compared to January, consumer prices in February increased by 0.2 percent, driven by the growing cost of transport. Experts expect inflation to grow further in the coming months due to the increasing price of crude oil.

The cost of fuels and automobiles account for the largest part of the month-on-month increase, along with the prices of alcohol and tobacco, which grew by more than 10 percent, driven by last year’s hike in consumption taxes.

Prices of vegetables have also significantly increased, by over five percent, while fruit prices went up by 4 percent. In total, the cost of goods grew by 2.1 percent and the price of services increased by 2.3 percent.

Meanwhile, prices of electricity and gas decreased in February, along with telecommunication and postal service costs.

The slow-down of price growth is likely to be slower than previously expected. According to some analysts, inflation may even accelerate in March and April, as a result of the growing prices of crude oil, which will be reflected in the price of fuel.

Experts predict that the rate of inflation in the first half of 2021 will most likely stay above the two-percent mark, while inflation for the whole year will be around 2.5 percent.