Consumer prices up 6.3% yr/yr in October


Consumer prices rose 6.3% year on year in October and were up 0.5% from September, the Central Statistics Office (KSH) announced on Tuesday.

Twelve-month inflation speeded up from 5.9% in September, while the month-on-month increase compares with a marked 2.5% increase in September, which saw a rise in VAT along with increases in some centrally-regulated energy prices. The figures are higher than analysts' estimate in a poll for Monday's issue of business daily Napi Gazdaság. The analysts said consumer prices rose 6.15% year on year in October and were up 0.3% from September. Consumer prices cleared of the effect of tax changes including a cut in the main VAT rate from 25% to 20% in January 2006 and an increase of the preferential 15% rate to 20% from September 1 rose at the same rate as the unadjusted figures, both in a twelve-month and a month-on-month comparison.

Seasonally-adjusted core inflation was 4.4% compared to October 2005, up from 4.0% in September. The headline figure compared to September rose on the back of a 3.8% increase in clothing prices, 2.3% dearer household energy prices and a 1.0% rise in the price of alcoholic drinks and tobacco products. Tobacco prices were up 2.4% and alcoholic drink prices rose 0.4%. Food prices rose 0.4% compared to September. Service prices were up 0.3%, as the result of a 1.5% fall in tourism services prices, a 1.5% increases in rubbish collection fees and a 1.4% increase in sewage fees. Prices for durable consumer goods remained unchanged from September and vehicle fuel prices fell 5%. Gas prices rose 6.3% from September, due to the VAT rate hike, and firewood prices increased 6.0%. Food prices were held back by a 2.0% fall in seasonal food prices. Excluding these items, food prices would have risen 0.7%, exceeding the headline figure. Prices for fresh vegetables fell 10.8% from September, but egg prices increased 3.7% and prices for cooking oil rose 2.7%.

In a twelve-month comparison, food prices rose 12.0%, mainly due to the VAT increase in September, and household energy prices jumped 18.8%, also because of the VAT rise as well as the increase in centrally-regulated prices. Clothing prices were only 0.7% higher than in September 2005, despite the big increase in October alone. Service prices rose 5.2% and consumer durable prices fell 2.7%. Twelve-month food prices were lifted by a 25.9% rise in pork prices and a 17.1% increase in beef prices. Potato prices jumped 78.8% and fresh vegetables were 26% dearer. Prices for fresh domestic and tropical fruits, however, rose just 2.2%. Milk and dairy prices rose 12.3%. Household gas tariffs were 37.9% higher in October than a year earlier, prices for firewood rose 26.3% and electricity prices increased 10.5%. Vehicle fuel prices fell a slight 0.3%. Service prices rose on a 10.8% increase in waste collection fees and a 9.6% rise in sewage fees. Local transport fares rose 10.1%. Telephone tariffs were down 3.4% from a year earlier and theatre and concerts tickets rose 10%. (Mti-Eco)

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