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Annual Inflation Reached 9.9% In January, The Highest Since 1998

Year-on-year, consumer prices increased by 9.9% in January, up 3.3% points from 6.6% in December. According to the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO), the increase was mainly driven by rises in the price of housing and fuel. Photo credit: Freepik  

Brno, Feb 15 (BD) – The year-on-year inflation rate of 9.9%, published on the CZSO website, is the highest since 1998, up from 6.6% in December. The increase was down to rapid growth in the price of housing, fuel and food. 

“Consumer prices have risen by almost 10% compared to last January,” said Pavla Šedivá, head of the CZSO Consumer Price Statistics Department. “This is the highest since July 1998, when annual price growth reached 10.4%. Housing, fuel and food prices had the biggest impact on the January annual index.” 

In a monthly comparison, consumer prices increased by 4.4% in the first month of this year, the biggest monthly jump since January 1993. Electricity rose by almost 39% and natural gas by 31% compared to December. This was partly influenced by the return of VAT on electricity and natural gas prices, said CZSO.

Compared to January last year, electricity and natural gas were 18.8% and 21.5% more expensive, respectively. Transport costs also saw big prices year-on-year, with cars 11% more expensive and fuel and oil 28% more expensive.

“The change in prices is significant in the area of energy prices, because since January 1st, for example, the largest supplier of electricity to households, CEZ, has increased its prices by about a third on average,” said Lukáš Kovanda, chief economist at Trinity Bank. “Also contributing to the acceleration of inflation in January was a significant year-on-year increase in fuel prices, driven by the rise in global oil prices, or the rising price of housing, which reflects last year’s rise in the price of building materials and the surprisingly strong rise in property prices that occurred during the pandemic, contrary to most expectations.” 

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