While in previous months, inflation in the Czech Republic was rather average according to the EU methodology, in January, it was above the EU average. In January, the Czech Republic’s harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) rose to 8.8 percent, up from 5.4 percent in December. The January estimate for the euro area, which usually differs only slightly from the figure for the EU as a whole, was 5.1 percent.
Officials from the Czech Statistical Office (ČSO) warned at a press conference on Monday that the rise in energy prices, which has been significantly affecting inflation recently, will continue, according to information from suppliers in the Czech Republic. According to the ČSO, the share of energy in the consumer basket is well above the average in the EU.
According to the latest complete EU data, prices of energy for housing, which includes gas, electricity, and heat supply, rose the most year-on-year in Estonia (by 77.8 percent), the Netherlands (by 74.9 percent), Belgium (by 57.4 percent) and Spain (by 54.8 percent) in December 2021. On the other hand, Slovakia posted a decline of 3.9 percent in December.
The VAT remission is over. Get your wallets ready
Thanks to a temporary VAT waiver, the Czech Republic saw an 8.5 percent drop in energy prices, but this ended in January, and prices will rise sharply for consumers.
According to Jiří Mrázek, Director of the Statistics Department, the rise in prices has been significant everywhere in Europe over the last six months. Still, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have been rather average at this time.
In December, the HICP in the Czech Republic was 5.4 percent and in Slovakia 5.1 percent, while the average for the whole EU was 5.3 percent and for the eurozone, five percent.
Inflation in the Czech Republic accelerated to 9.9 percent year-on-year in January from 6.6 percent in December. Annual consumer price growth was 10.4 percent, the highest since July 1998. The prices of housing and fuels mainly influenced the development.