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The average annual inflation rate in Latvia last year was 2.8 percent, LETA learned from the Central Statistical Bureau. In December 2019 as compared to November, Latvia recorded a 0.2 percent deflation, while compared to December 2018, the average level of consumer prices rose by 2.3 percent.


Last December as compared to November, prices of goods decreased 0.5 percent and prices of services rose 0.3 percent. Compared to December 2018, prices of goods increased by 2.1 percent and prices of services by 2.6 percent.

Compared to December 2018, in December 2019 the average level of consumer prices was mainly influenced by higher prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, goods and services related to housing, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, goods and services related to recreation and culture, health care, as well as restaurant and hotel services.

Over the year, prices within the group of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 2.4 percent. The most significant upward influence was exerted by the prices of meat and meat products (upturn of 7.2 percent), of which increase was registered in prices of dried, salted or smoked meat (of 6.9 percent), pork (14.3 percent), meat preparations (9.3 percent), and poultry (1.6 percent). Meat and meat products had considerable influence on the price level within the group throughout the whole year.

Compared to December 2018, increases were also registered in prices of fresh fruit (of 14.6 percent), bakery products (4.4 percent), bread (2.8 percent), sugar (6.9 percent), as well as flours and other cereals (4.1 percent).

Along with the decline in world markets, coffee price fell by 6.4 percent. Reduction was also recorded in prices of milk (of 5.1 percent) and various milk products - cheese and curd (4.3 percent), butter (4.8 percent), and sour cream (2.3 percent). Downturn was observed in prices of fresh vegetables (of 1.8 percent).

The average level of alcoholic beverage and tobacco product prices went up by 4.3 percent. Prices of alcoholic beverages grew by 3.9 percent, which was mainly due to higher prices of beer and spirits. Prices of tobacco products rose on the average by 4.9 percent. Annual price rise was affected by an increase in excise duty on cigarettes as of July 1, 2019.

Prices of goods and services related to housing increased by 3.3 percent, which was caused by rising prices of several public utility services. Over the year, increase was registered in prices of electricity, heat energy, refuse collection, materials for the maintenance and repair of the dwelling, services for the maintenance and repair of the dwelling, as well as maintenance charges in multi-occupied buildings. In turn, the average level of prices of natural gas and solid fuels decreased.

Within the healthcare group, the average level of prices rose by 2.4 percent, which was mainly due to an increase in prices of dental services and prices in medical specialist practice. Upturn was also registered in prices of pharmaceutical products.

Prices of goods and services related to recreation and culture grew by 3.4 percent. Over the year, prices of package holidays, television subscription fee, pet food, recreational and sporting services, as well as toys increased.

The average level of restaurant and hotel service prices went up by 2.7 percent. The price rise was mainly affected by catering services, as the average level of restaurant and cafe service prices increased by 3.1 percent and that of canteen services by 3.7 percent.

The most significant upturns among other commodity groups were recorded in prices of gasoline, maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, telecommunication services, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishment services, higher education, articles for personal hygiene and beauty products, as well as garments. Downturns, in turn, were registered in prices of diesel and motor vehicle insurance.

Compared to November 2019, in December 2019 decreases in prices of clothing and footwear, prices of miscellaneous goods and services group, prices of furnishings, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, goods and services related to housing, as well as a rise in prices of goods and services related to transport, food and non-alcoholic beverages had the most significant effect on the price changes.

Over the month, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages grew by 0.5 percent. Prices of fresh fruit (rise of 6 percent) had the strongest upward influence on the average price level within the group. Increases were registered in prices of pork (of 3.1 percent), meat products (5.6 percent), as well as dried, salted or smoked meat (1 percent). Upturn was also recorded in prices of eggs (of 2.1 percent), fresh vegetables (0.8 percent), bread (0.7 percent), as well as dried fruit and nuts (4.5 percent). Decline was observed in prices of poultry (of 2 percent), cheese and curd (1.9 percent), chocolate (3.8 percent), and coffee (1.8 percent).

The average level of alcoholic beverage and tobacco product prices fell by 0.6 percent, which was mainly influenced by a decline in wine and beer prices.

Due to the influence exerted by discounts, prices of garments fell by 3 percent and of footwear by 7.2 percent.

Prices of goods and services related to housing decreased by 0.3 percent. Decline was recorded in prices of materials for the maintenance and repair of the dwelling as well as rentals for housing.

Prices in furnishings group fell by 1.4 percent. Under the influence of sales, prices of household cleaning and maintenance products, as well as household furniture decreased.

Prices of goods and services related to transport grew by 1.5 percent, which was due to a rise in prices of passenger transport by air (of 16.9 percent). The average level of prices of fuels for transport went up by 0.7 percent, of which prices of gasoline by 0.8 percent, of diesel by 0.5 percent, and of auto gas by 1.9 percent. Upturn was registered in prices of maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, as well as passenger transport by sea.

Within the miscellaneous goods and services group, prices fell on average by 1.3 percent, which was affected by the discounts on articles for personal hygiene and beauty products.

The most significant downturn among other commodity groups was recorded in prices of package holidays, pharmaceutical products, and mobile telephone equipment.

The average annual inflation in Latvia in 2018 was 2.5 percent and in 2017 - 2.9 percent.