Weak Consumption Holds Down Bulgaria Inflation in Sept

Weak Consumption Holds Down Bulgaria Inflation in Sept

Bulgaria's consumer price inflation slowed in September and hit a thirteen-month low on the back of shrinking consumption and a good harvest, data of the statistics office showed on Wednesday.

The consumer price index increased 3.3% on an annual basis in September, after a 4.1 percent increase in August.

Month-on-month, consumer prices remained flat in September, after edging down by 0.3% in August.

Prices of food increased by a slim 0.1%, alcohol beverages and cigarettes – 0.2%, while clothing and footwear prices moved up 0.7%.

There was a 2.2% annual growth in housing costs and utility prices, and a 7.6% rise in transportation costs in September.

Services in the tourism sector saw the sharpest fall in prices – leisure activities prices went down by a whopping 4%.

Meanwhile the harmonized index of consumer prices, which takes into account the consumption of foreigners in the country and is measured under the EU methodology, increased by 2.9% on an annual basis and remained flat on a monthly basis.

At the end of May after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to the country wrapped up its visit here it head projected that it will slow down its pace over the last month we saw it slow down its pace

"Inflation is a serious problem, but we don't expect prices to increase significantly above the current levels," Catriona Purfield, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to Bulgaria, said in an interview for Capital weekly.

The International Monetary Fund expects higher food and fuel prices to increase inflation to 4.25% in 2011, before easing to 3% in 2012.

The government's forecast has set inflation at 3.6% in 2011. (Source: Sofia News Agency)

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