In August, the annual inflation rate rose to 17.2 percent, 0.3 percentage points lower than in July. This marked the first slowdown in 13 months. Inflation rose by 0.4 percent month on month, which was also lower than in previous months.
The Czech Statistical Office (CSO) published the data on Monday. Food and energy contributed the most to the rise in prices, while fuel prices fell compared to the previous month.
“Fuel prices had the biggest impact on the change in the price level in August. Thanks to a significant month-on-month drop of almost 10 percent, their prices were the lowest since February this year,” said Pavla Šedivá, head of the consumer price statistics department at the Czech Statistical Office (CSO).
In addition to fuel, prices of vegetables also fell month-on-month (by 3.5 percent), with potatoes falling the most (by 14.5 percent).
In other sections, statisticians recorded growth. Electricity prices increased by 0.7 percent, natural gas prices increased by the same amount, and solid fuel prices increased by 3.7 percent. Among foodstuffs, semi-skimmed long-life milk rose by 5.5 percent. Prices rose for butter (3.8 percent), cheese, and curd (2 percent).
Fuel and oil price growth slowed the most in August, to 28.3 percent year on year. In July, growth was 43.6 percent. “In contrast, the food and non-alcoholic beverages section saw a slight acceleration in year-on-year price growth. Prices of cold cuts were higher by 14.5 percent (up 13.2 percent in July), items in the milk, cheese, and eggs group by 24.1 percent (up 22.4 percent in July), and sugar by 41.7 percent (up 34 percent in July),” the CSO said.
Flour prices have reached all-time highs
But some foods have become much more expensive. This was especially the case for flour (up 64.2 percent), semi-skimmed long-life milk (48.7 percent), or oils and fats (up 49.8 percent). In the food and accommodation division, food service prices rose by almost a quarter and accommodation services by about a fifth.
Energy and housing costs accounted for most of the year-on-year increase. Electricity rose by 34.6 percent and natural gas by 61.4 percent. The prices of heat and hot water were higher by a fifth. Apartment rent prices rose by 5.1 percent.
“The summer inflation numbers suggest that consumer price increases are beginning to peak. This does not mean that year-on-year inflation will quickly return to two percent. Still, the probability of annual inflation reaching 20 percent in the autumn has fallen significantly,” Miroslav Novák, an analyst at Akcenta, assessed the latest data.