CPI Sets Another Four-Year Low, But Inflation Expected to Pick Up Later in Year ({{commentsTotal}})

Overall costs slipped 0.1 percent from January, and only rose 0.6 percent compared to February 2013. For a second straight month, the year-on-year price rise was a four-year low

The central bank is now calling for 2.1 percent inflation for 2014. Largely because of the high comparison base, the inflation rates will increase in the second half of the year, Rasmus Kattai of the Bank of Estonia told uudised.err.ee.   

Goods were 1 percent more expensive and services 0.2 percent cheaper compared to February last year, Statistics Estonia reported Friday. Regulated prices of goods and services have decreased by 0.4 percent, and non-regulated prices have risen by 0.9 percent compared to February 2013.

The consumer price index was mainly influenced by the 2.4 percent price increase of food. Dairy products and vegetables were 5.5 and 8.1 percent more expensive, respectively, which accounted for nearly a third of the impact of food on the index. The price of fish has increased 12 percent, and the prices of coffee and sugar have decreased the most - 16 and 13 percent, respectively.

Ninety percent of the increase in the index caused by food was offset by the price decrease of electricity, heat energy and fuel. Heat energy was 4.7 percent cheaper, and the electricity that arrived at homes was 4.1 less expensive than in February 2013. In February, motor fuel was 4.6 percent cheaper than in the same month last year. 

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco also had a bigger impact on the index, as their prices increased by 5.3 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively, compared to February 2013.

From January, the consumer price index was mainly influenced by the 1.8 percent price decrease of electricity, heat energy and fuel, by the 1.4 percent price increase of alcoholic beverages and tobacco, and by the end of the sales of clothing and footwear. Cigarettes with the new excise stamps arrived in most stores.

Compared to January, the prices of Chinese cabbage increased the most (47 percent) and the prices of oranges decreased the most (17 percent).