Bulgaria annual inflation reaches 10% in February, highest since October 2008

Bulgaria’s annual consumer price index (CPI) recorded 10 per cent inflation in February 2022, data released by the National Statistical Institute (NSI) on March 15 showed.

This was the highest year-on-year increase in consumer prices since October 2008, when it was 10.9 per cent, and marked a sharp increase over the course of the past 12 months, with the annual CPI showing 0.1 per cent deflation in February 2021.

Monthly inflation in February was 1.4 per cent, compared to 1.5 per cent recorded in January.

Food prices in February were 3.2 per cent higher compared to the previous month, while non-food prices rose by 0.8 per cent and services prices fell by 0.2 per cent.

Compared to February 2021, food prices were 13.2 per cent higher, while non-food and services prices rose by 10.3 per cent and 5.8 per cent, respectively.

The harmonised CPI figure, calculated by NSI for comparison with European Union data, rose by 1.2 per cent on a monthly basis in February, while the annual harmonised CPI inflation was 8.4 per cent.

This was the highest year-on-year increase in the harmonised CPI since November 2008, when the figure was 8.8 per cent.

Food and beverage prices were 13.1 per cent higher, on an annual basis, while the price of utilities and housing increased by 12 per cent and transportation costs were 16 per cent higher compared to February 2021. The three categories account for about 48.5 per cent of the harmonised CPI basket.

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 two per cent of the total CPI and harmonised CPI, the same as a month earlier.

(Consumer price index changes since February 2021. Bars illustrate the annual CPI and lines show the monthly CPI. Graphic: NSI)

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