The growth rate of consumer prices in Slovakia slightly accelerated in July. Inflation measured by the EU harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) achieved a 3.8 percent year-on-year increase over July, while a month ago it was at 3.7 percent. According to the Slovak Statistics Office (ŠÚ), the average twelve-month inflation rate remained at 4.1 percent in July.

Consumer prices did not change in July from the previous month, while they surged 0.2 percent in monthly terms in June. In a yearly comparison, transportation and education prices grew the most over July - by 6.1 percent, the SITA newswire quoted the ŠÚ. Next were prices of housing, water, electricity, natural gas and other fuels - coming up 5.2 percent, health care prices with a 4.9-percent growth and prices of foodstuffs and non-alcoholic beverages, up 4.8 percent. Prices of miscellaneous goods and services rose 4 percent. Prices swelled to 3.6 percent in hotels, cafes and restaurants while a 3.2-percent growth was reported with alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Prices of clothing and footwear went up 1.9 percent, prices of recreation and culture 1.6 percent and prices of furniture, common house maintenance and equipment 0.7 percent. The sole items for which prices posted a year-on-year fall of 0.2 percent were postal and telecommunications services.

In monthly terms, prices in recreation and culture reported the highest growth dynamics of 0.5 percent from June. On the other hand, prices of clothing and footwear and prices of transportation declined by 0.5 percent; prices of foodstuffs and non-alcoholic drinks dropped 0.6 percent; and prices of furniture and household equipment and prices of postal and telecoms services remained unchanged in July.

At the end of 2010, year-on-year harmonised inflation reached 1.3 percent, while in 2011, inflation gradually accelerated as expected to the end-of-the-year 4.6 percent. Prices swelled due to recovering demand and the government's consolidation package and higher energy prices. This year, the predicted weaker economic performance is also expected to slow the pace of price growth. The central bank (National Bank of Slovakia, NBS) estimates harmonised inflation at 3.5 percent in 2012. Possible further consolidation measures might have a pro-growth effect on this year's inflation.

(Source: SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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