Compared to September 2019, the average level of consumer prices decreased by 0.3% in September. Prices of goods fell by 1.1%, while prices of services rose by 1.7%.
Compared to September 2019, the average level of consumer prices was mainly influenced by the drop in prices of goods and services related to housing, goods and services related to transport in September, miscellaneous goods and services, as well as rise in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, goods and services related to recreation and culture, health care, restaurant and hotel services, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
Over the year, prices within the group of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 2.2%, which was influenced by the increase of the price level for fresh fruit (+23%), mainly apples and oranges. Prices also increased for dried, salted or smoked meat (of 6.1%), as well as meat products (3.7%). Coffee (+3.7%), bakery products (+2.6%), bread (+1.9%), buckwheat (+21.7%) and breakfast cereals (+12.6%) became more expensive. Decline, in turn, was registered in prices of poultry (+5.8%), potatoes (+12.2%), fresh vegetables (+2.7%) and chocolate (+1%).
Prices of goods and services related to housing dropped by 4.3%. The fall in prices was mainly due to cheaper heat energy, natural gas, electricity, solid fuels and rentals for housing. Maintenance charges in multi-occupied buildings, as well as services for the maintenance and repairs of the dwelling became more expensive.
In the health care group, the average level of prices increased by 2.6%, which was mainly influenced by the increase in prices of dental services, prices in general medical practice, as well as prices in medical specialist practice. The fall was registered in prices of pharmaceutical products, mainly reimbursable medical products.
Prices of goods and services related to transport declined by 4.3%, which was affected by the drop in prices of fuels by 11.6%. Diesel was 13.3% cheaper. Prices of petrol and auto gas decreased by 9.7%. During the year, passenger transport by air became cheaper, while prices for passenger transport by road increased.
Goods and services related to recreation and culture became more expensive by 2.3%. Over the year price level increased for cultural services, recreational and sporting services, flowers and personal computers.
The average level of restaurant and hotel service prices increased by 2.4%. Price rise was mainly affected by catering services, as the average level of restaurant and cafe service prices increased by 2.6% and that of canteen services by 5.2%. In turn, prices of hotel services decreased by 17.3% over the year.
In the group of miscellaneous goods and services prices decreased by 1.6%, which was mainly due to the fall in prices for motor vehicle insurance, articles for personal hygiene and beauty products. Hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishment services became more expensive.
Among other commodity groups, the most notable decline in prices was for beer and clothing, while prices for tobacco products increased.
Compared to August, the average level of consumer prices remained unchanged in September. The average price level for goods increased by 0.1%, while for services – decreased by 0.1%.
The largest pressure on the price changes was put by the drop in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, goods and services related to transport, restaurant and hotel services, as well as the rise of prices in education group, clothing and footwear, goods and services related to recreation and culture.
During the month, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages decreased by 0.9%. The most significant pressure on the average price level decline in the group due to the seasonal factors was put by the price drop of fresh fruit (of 8.4%), fresh vegetables (-4.6%) and potatoes (-15.4%). Under the influence of sales prices decreased for poultry (-1.7%), fresh or chilled fish (-6%), chocolate (-2.4%) and dried, salted or smoked meat (-0.6%). In turn, prices of coffee (+3%), bread (+0.9%), cheese and curd (+1.2%), milk (+2.1%) and yoghurt (+2.6%) increased.
In the group of clothing and footwear, prices increased on average by 4.8%. With the new season’s items entering the market prices of footwear increased by 12.2% and for clothing – by 2.5%
Prices of goods and services related to transport decreased on average by 0.7%. The fall in prices was mainly affected by the decrease of the average price level for passenger transport by air of 7.2%. Fuel became cheaper by 0.1%, mainly diesel – by 0.6%. Prices for auto gas decreased by 0.3%, while petrol prices increased by 0.6%.
The average level of prices of goods and services related to recreation and culture increased by 1.1%, which was mainly influenced by the rise in prices for cultural services (+4.4%). The increase in prices was also observed for recreational and sporting services, stationery and drawing materials.
With the beginning of the new academic year, the average price level increased for higher education services (of 2.5%).
The average level of restaurant and hotel service prices decreased by 0.7%, which was mainly influenced by cheaper hotel services (-11.8%).
In other consumer groups, the most significant fall in prices was for spirits, pharmaceutical products and rehabilitation center services. In turn, beer, articles for personal hygiene and beauty products became more expensive.
Compared to 2015, consumer prices in September were 8.7% higher. Prices of goods rose by 6.1%, while prices of services – by 15.1%. (BNN/Business World Magazine)