Goods prices increased 1.8 percent in May, the same pace as in the previous month, as a slowdown in energy inflation offset a pick up in food inflation. Gains were also recorded for other goods such as newspapers and periodicals (4.9 percent) and tobacco products (3.8 percent). However, a marked declined was recorded for mobile phones (-9.6 percent) and consumer electronics (-6.9 percent).
Energy prices advanced 4.2 percent (vs 4.6 percent in April), boosted by motor fuel prices (4.6 percent), heating oil (3.7 percent), district heating (5.5 percent), natural gas (3.4 percent), and electricity (3.2 percent).
Meanwhile, food cost increased 0.9 percent in May, accelerating from a 0.8 percent rise in April, as vegetable prices increased substantially (8.7 percent). Price rises were also recorded for fish, fish products and seafood (2.9 percent) and for bread and cereals (2.3 percent). In contrast, prices fell considerably for fruit (-7.6 percent) and edible fats and oils (-4.9 percent).
Services inflation slowed sharply to 1.2 percent from 2.1 percent. This was mainly attributable to the decrease in package holiday prices (-9.0 percent). Price increases were observed, among other things, for long-distance coach journeys (19.0 percent), services of social facilities (5.1 percent), maintenance and repair of vehicles (4.7 percent) and catering services in restaurants, cafes and the like (2.8 percent). Another major factor contributing to the development of service prices was the increase in net rents exclusive of heating expenses (1.4 percent), as households spend a large part of their consumption expenditure on this item.
On a monthly basis, the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent in May, easing from a 1 percent jump in April. This was mainly due to prices of long-distance coach journeys (7.6 percent). Prices were also up for motor fuels (4.0 percent), fruit (1.8 percent) and vegetables (0.9 percent). Energy costs increased by 1.6 percent. In contrast, package holiday prices were down (-2.4 percent). In May, passengers paid also less for passenger transport by air (-3.6 percent) and by rail (-1.7 percent) compared with a month earlier.
The harmonised index of consumer prices went up 1.3 percent from the previous year (vs 2.1 percent in April); and 0.3 percent month-over-month (vs 1 percent in April).