Compared to February 2020 the average level of consumer prices decreased by 0.2% in February 2021. Prices of goods fell by 0.7%, while prices of services rose by 0.9%.
Compared to February 2020, in February 2021 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, clothing and footwear, food and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as rise in prices of recreational and cultural goods and services and health care, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
Prices within the group of food and non-alcoholic beverages decreased by 0.4%. The most significant price drop was for meat and meat preparations (-3%), including price decrease for poultry (-11.1%), pork (-1.3%), dried, salted or smoked meat (-0.5%). The fall was registered in prices of bakery products (-1.5%), potatoes (-8.1%), fresh or chilled fish (-7.2%), butter (-3.7%), as well as fruit and vegetable juices (-2.9%). In turn, the average level of prices increased for yoghurt (+6.9%), milk products (+2.8%), coffee (+3.2%), breakfast cereals (+12.8%), buckwheat (+14%), and vegetable oil (+7.5%).
The average price level of clothing and footwear has decreased by 1.5%. Prices of footwear fell on average by 5.7% and prices of clothing – by 0.7%.
Prices of goods and services related to housing dropped by 2.7%. Over the year, the prices decreased for heat energy, rentals for housing, solid fuels, natural gas, as well as electricity. In turn, an increase was recorded in prices of services for the maintenance and repair of the dwelling, as well as materials for the maintenance and repair of the dwelling.
Over the year the average level of prices in the health care group increased by 2.6%. The prices increased for dental services and medical specialist practice. In turn, the fall was registered in prices of pharmaceutical products, mainly reimbursable medical products.
Prices of goods and services related to transport declined by 1.2%, which was mainly affected by the drop in prices of fuel by 4.7%. Diesel prices fell on average by 5.5%, petrol by 3.5% and car gas by 5.3%. Average price level of passenger transport by air reduced, which was significantly affected by Covid-19 restrictions. Prices increased for passenger transport by road and cars.
The prices of cultural and recreational goods and services have increased by 2.8%. Over the year, the average level of prices of personal computers, flowers, books, as well as television subscription fee increased.
Among other commodity groups, the most notable decline in prices was for motor vehicle insurance and hotel services. In turn, the increase was registered in prices of catering services, spirits and telecommunication services.
Compared to January, the average level of consumer prices increased by 0.4% in February. The average price level for goods has increased by 0.6%, while for services – decreased by 0.1%. The greatest pressure on the price changes was due to the increase in prices of goods and services related to transport, food and non-alcoholic beverages, furnishings, recreational and cultural goods and services, health care, as well as the drop in prices of clothing and footwear.
During the month, the average level of prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 0.7%. The most significant price level increase was for fresh vegetables (+15%), mainly for cucumbers and tomatoes. Prices increased for pork (+5.8%), dried, salted or smoked meat (+1%), coffee (+1.2%), olive oil (+5.4%) and fresh fruit (+0.8%). In turn, due to the sales, prices decreased for poultry (+5%), chocolate (+5.1%), bakery products (+1.9%), bread (+0.6%) and milk (+1.1%).
The average price level of clothing and footwear has decreased by 1.4%. With all the restrictions announced in the country due to be complied, it was possible to buy clothing and footwear only remotely, except for individual stores where trade of the entire assortment was allowed in accordance with the adopted rules. Thereby, the total share of imputations for clothing was 43%, while for footwear – 35%. Due to the sales prices of footwear fell by 3.4%, while for clothing – by 0.8%.
In the group of furnishings the prices increased on average by 1.1%. Prices rose for household furniture, household cleaning and care products, household textiles and dishes.
In the healthcare group, the average level of prices increased by 0.4%, which was mainly influenced by the increase in prices of pharmaceutical products and medical specialist practice.
The average level of prices of goods and services related to transport increased by 2.1%. Fuels for transport became more expensive – by 5.1%, including diesel – by 5.7%, petrol – by 4.4% and auto gas – by 3.8%. Decline was registered in prices of maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment.
Prices of recreational and cultural goods and services increased on average by 0.5%. Prices of flowers rose, while prices of pet food and toys dropped.
Among other commodity groups, the most notable increase was registered in prices of heat energy, while the prices of rentals for housing, pre-primary education, articles for personal hygiene and beauty products decreased.
Compared to 2015, consumer prices in February were 9.2% higher. Prices of goods rose by 6.9%, while prices of services – by 14.7%. (BNN/Business World Magazine)