By Theo Moreni
The annual inflation rate rose from 4.6% in July to 5.1% in August, mainly as a result of the increase in natural gas for the population and the increase in electricity bills. Prices rose by about 0.3% compared to July, after the rise in non-food goods.
The citrus fruit and other Mediterranean fruit, as well as eggs are the food items that saw the steepest price increase this August compared to July; gas and electricity tariffs, postal and airline services also grew more expensive, the National Institute of Statistics (INS) said on Tuesday.
The food prices this August dropped slightly by 0.17 percent from the month before, but citrus and other Mediterranean fruit grew by 3.1 percent more expensive, and egg prices also inched up 1.01 percent. Bread and bakery products grew by 0.22 percent more expensive, while in the meat, meat products and canned meat category, beef saw the highest price increase, of 0.48 percent.
Conversely, the steepest price drop was for fresh fruits - 8.1 percent, prices for other vegetables and canned vegetables went down 2.22 percent, sugar grew 1.1 percent cheaper. There were insignificant price decreases this August compared to July for potatoes, honey and milk.
Compared to December 2017, citrus fruits and other Mediterranean fruits again topped the list of price increases this August, with an advance of 9.92 percent; other vegetables and canned vegetables went 6.76 percent more expensive, the price for fruits and canned fruits advanced 3.44 percent, bread grew 2.64 percent more expensive. On the other hand, eggs were 26.99 percent cheaper in August compared to December 2017 and fresh fruits were also 1.77 percent cheaper.
In the non-foods category, the most significant price increases were for natural gas (+ 5.59 percent) and electricity (+ 2.05 percent); watches, audio and video equipment, sports items, fuels and footwear each grew slightly cheaper, yet by less than 1 percent.
Compared to the end of 2017 gas prices rose most in August - by 16.61 percent, followed by fuels with 5.61 percent, and tobacco and cigarettes - 3.68 percent.
According to data centralized by INS in comparison with July, postal services saw the highest price increase this August, of 21.54 percent, followed by air fares (+ 2.42 percent); they also top the list of price rises referenced to December 2017, with an increase of 21.54 percent and 18.66 percent, respectively. Phone services were the only service to see a price decline in August as compared to July - of 0.1 percent.