Inflation: downward trend stalls
After four months in a row with falling inflation figures the March figure again shows a rise. March inflation, the rate at which prices increase, rose to 6.67% this month – up from 6.62% last month. To blame is the speed at which food prices continue to increase: food inflation stands at 17%.
Food inflation is being fuelled by price increases for many basic products: dairy and oils (up 25%), bread and cereals (up 20%), fish (up 17%) and meat (up 15%).
Higher food prices are the result of higher agricultural raw materials though here price rises seem to have peaked. Second round effects seem to be fuelling inflation now: the food industry and supermarkets have increased their prices also because wage and energy prices have risen.
Higher food prices now have wiped out the fall in energy prices noticeable in recent months. Energy inflation continues to fall. The price of natural gas is down 17% in only a month. Natural gas is now 46% cheaper than a year ago. Electricity prices have fallen less: 3% in a month, but electricity prices are still far lower than at the end of the year.