Recent increases in prices in Slovakia have been caused primarily by prices on global markets, particularly oil and food prices, said the Finance Ministry’s Deputy Minister, Vladimír Tvaroška, at a press conference on February 14, the TASR newswire reported.
"The government isn't happy about the rising prices," said Tvaroška, at the same time admitting that the government's austerity measures have contributed partially to the trend. He stated that the increase in VAT from 19 to 20 percent has affected prices by 0.56 percentage points. Prices in Slovakia were 3 percent higher in January 2011 than a year earlier.
"The reasons have to be sought somewhere else," stated Tvaroška, adding that the 6.1 percent increase in food prices has been caused by developments on global markets.
"The reason is last year's very poor harvest. This effect has nothing to do with the Slovak government," said the ministry official.
The price hikes for regulated commodities gas and electricity were also caused by global developments, he stated, adding that other reasons include payments made by Slovak households to support energy production from renewable sources and because Slovak gas utility SPP must pay more to Russian gas supplier Gazprom.
According to figures presented by the Statistics Office, the prices of goods and services increased by 3 percent year-on-year in January. "This certainly isn't pleasant, but it isn't a figure that would be extraordinary," said Tvaroška.
The head of the Finance Ministry’s Financial Policy Institute, Ján Tóth, stated that overall inflation for 2011 should reach 3.5 percent, "with salaries growing slightly faster, by 3.7 percent".
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
15. Feb 2011 at 10:00