Bulgaria annual CPI records 0.6% deflation in January

Bulgaria’s annual consumer price index (CPI) continued its downward trend in January, recording 0.6 per cent deflation, compared to 0.1 per cent inflation a month earlier, data released by the National Statistical Institute (NSI) on February 15 showed.

This was the first time that consumer prices in Bulgaria shrank on a yearly basis since November 2016, when the CPI recorded 0.5 per cent deflation. It also represented a swing of 4.7 percentage points from January 2020, when the CPI recorded 4.1 per cent inflation.

Monthly inflation in January was 0.2 per cent, the sixth time that the monthly CPI figure showed an increase over the previous 12 months, which also saw deflation recorded five times and one month of zero growth.

Beyond the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the inflation indicator, it limited NSI’s ability to collect the data, with the statistics body saying that it had to extrapolate about seven per cent of the total consumer price index, the same as a month earlier.

Food prices were 0.4 per cent higher in January compared to the previous month, while non-food and services prices were up 0.1 per cent. Compared to January 2020, food prices were 0.3 per cent lower, while non-food prices fell by 2.7 per cent and services prices rose by 0.8 per cent.

The harmonised CPI figure, calculated by NSI for comparison with European Union data, recorded 0.1 per cent inflation in January, while the annual harmonised CPI shrank by 0.4 per cent, recording deflation for the first time since December 2016.

Food and beverage prices were 0.1 per cent down, on an annual basis, while the price of utilities and housing increased by 0.6 per cent and transportation costs were 5.1 per cent lower compared to January 2020. The three categories account for about 48.8 per cent of the harmonised CPI basket.

(Illustration: svilen001/sxc.hu)

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