Slovenia's annual inflation rate fell in January, led by lower prices for goods.
The inflation rate fell to 2.7% from 2.8% in December, the Slovenian statistical office reported today in the capital Ljubljana. In the month, consumer prices fell 0.7%, compared with a 0.4% monthly increase in December. „After the first shock of higher consumer prices in December, Slovenia will keep its inflation target within the convergence criteria and I expect it to be a bit lower than the average of 13 countries using the euro,” said Matej Steinbacher, an economist at the Ljubljana-based Free Society Institute, in a phone interview before the report. Slovenia escaped the fate of Lithuania and Estonia, where accelerating inflation ended their plans to adopt the euro on January 1, when Slovenia made the switchover.
The former Yugoslav republic has kept inflation at bay, even after regulated prices last year rose 2.1%, the government's Institute for Macroeconomic Analysis and Development said in an economic outlook on February 7. It has the fourth-lowest inflation rate among the European Union's 12 newest members, following Poland, Cyprus and the Czech Republic. Winter sales and lower fuel prices contributed to lower consumer prices, led by clothing and footwear, which fell by 11.9%, the office said. The office also reported industrial production fell 15.8% on the month from a 3.1 advance in November. Industrial production rose 7% annually. Slovenia's $34 billion economy expanded 5.6% in the Q3 bolstered by surging consumer demand, compared with 4.9% growth in the previous quarter. (Bloomberg)