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Polish January consumer prices rise to 16-month high on food

Poland's inflation rate rose in January to a 16-month high as food and energy prices advanced, the statistics office said.

The inflation rate reached 1.7% from 1.4% in December while consumer prices gained a monthly 0.5%. The result equaled the median estimate of 14 economists polled by Bloomberg. „January is a natural time of the year for price growth,” said Grzegorz Maliszewski, an economist at Bank Millennium. „So these data shouldn't be that relevant for predicting further monetary policy decisions. Especially as the January figure is usually revised in March due” to an update in the composition in the inflation index. Policy makers have left interest rates unchanged since March as the annual inflation rate has remained below the target of 2.5% for the past 20 months. The central bank has forecasts that fast economic growth will push consumer prices up toward the target in the Q2. Prices were lifted by the cost of food, which rose 1.3% on month and 2.8% on year amid seasonal growth of meat and vegetables prices as well as by housing costs, which were 1.2% higher than in December and 4.3% than a year ago. The government usually changes state-regulated prices of gas and electricity in January. (Bloomberg)