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Inflation surges 2.5% in 2010

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Consumer prices grew 2.5% in 2010, including for goods – 4.3%, however, they dropped 2.1% for services. To compare, consumer prices fell 1.2% in 2009.

Price rise for food, housing and transport-related goods and services and price drop in recreation, culture and medical goods and services influenced the consumer prices fluctuations in 2010, according to the Central Statistical Bureau data.

Grocery and non-alcoholic beverages surged 8.0% on average, mostly affected by growing prices of fresh vegetables (by 36.8%), fresh fruit (by 20.1%) and dairy products (by 13.2%); bread and cereal products spiked 7.6%. Some groups reported price decline in 2010, for example, meat and meat products, sugar, eggs, vegetables and canned fish.

Regarding housing, prices grew 6.2%, mostly affected by increasing prices for heating (by 19.4%), natural gas (by 16.3%) and firewood (by 10.6%). Water supply, sewage services, refuse collection and rent surged as well. Housing and renovation related goods and services prices decreased by 5.9% on average.

Price climb in transport sector (by 7.2%) was affected by 15.3% fuel price climb the most, including an 14.2% petrol price increase and 19.9% for diesel fuel. Passenger transport services gained 4.1%, due to rail and land transport services becoming more expensive; whereas flight tickets prices practically remained flat. Car purchase became 3.1% cheaper in 2010.

The 4.4% price drop in health care was mostly determined by patient co-payment reduction for state funded medical services and medicines. Regulated state-funded health services prices fell 16.1%, while charged medical services prices remained more or less flat. Prices went down for non-refundable medicines and therapeutic products.

The average price slipped by 4.8% in recreation and culture. TV, audio, video, photo and data processing equipment and data recording devices underwent an average 9.0% price drop. Leisure and sports equipment, toys and pet food prices declined as well. Leisure and sport services prices dropped 8.2%, while culture services slipped – 5.7% and travels – 12.4%.

Regarding other consumption sectors, price drop was recorded as well, in insurance services – by 12.6%, personal grooming establishments – by 4.6%, telecommunications services – by 3.0%, catering services – by 2.2%, furnishing, household goods and home cleaning services – by 3.5% on average, personal care items – by 3.5% and clothing – by 4.9%.

Administratively supervised and regulated prices grew 5.4% in 2010, while other goods and services average price level – by 2.0%.

The average consumer price level has dropped by 1.1% in 12 months time, compared to the previous 12 months. To compare, 12 months-average consumer price level surged 3.5% in 2009.

Consumer prices increased by 0.1% in December, compared to November (the average price level grew 0.2% for goods, remaining flat for services).

Food and transport prices climb and health care price drop contributed to the monthly price fluctuations the most.

Fruit and vegetables prices underwent seasonal price fluctuations – up by 8.6% and 7.8% respectively. With the end of best offers for bread and cereal products, their prices surged 0.9%, for non-alcoholic beverages – 1.9%. Fresh fish prices recorded a 2.6% price gain as well.

Fuel prices surged 4.0% on average, including petrol (4.1%) and diesel fuel (3.9%) and autogas (2.7%).

Pharmaceutical products price fall (5.4% on average), especially, for reimbursable medicines, due to reduced patients co-payment for cardiovascular disease medicines had a considerable effect on shrinking health care prices. Non-refundable medicines, nutritional supplements and therapeutic products became cheaper, due to best offers.

Footwear and clothing prices dropped 2.5% and 2.4% respectively, due to sales and best offers.

Non-durable household goods, personal care items, recreation and sports services, travels, as well as audio, video, photo and data processing devices and sports and leisure equipment prices slipped, because of best offers as well.

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