Bulgaria annual inflation reaches new 24-year high at 16.9% in June

Bulgaria’s annual consumer price index (CPI) recorded 16.9 per cent inflation in June 2022, rising from 15.6 per cent a month earlier, data released by the National Statistical Institute (NSI) on July 15 showed.

This was the highest year-on-year increase in consumer prices since May 1998, when the annual inflation figure was 18.8 per cent.

At the time, Bulgaria had just finished emerging from the 1996/97 economic crisis. The June 2022 figure also exceeds the 15.3 per cent annual inflation peak recorded in June 2008, during the global financial crisis.

Monthly inflation in June was 0.9 per cent, compared to 1.2 per cent recorded in May.

Food prices in June were 0.1 per cent lower compared to the previous month, while non-food prices rose by two per cent and services prices increased by 0.5 per cent.

Compared to June 2021, food prices were 23.2 per cent higher, while non-food and services prices rose by 17.5 per cent and 8.1 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 June, while the annual harmonised CPI inflation was 14.8 per cent.

This was the highest year-on-year increase in the harmonised CPI since May 1998, surpassing the 14.8 per cent annual inflation recorded in June 2008, during the global financial crisis, when Bulgaria recorded 14.7 per cent inflation.

Food and beverage prices were 23.5 per cent higher, on an annual basis, while the price of utilities and housing increased by 17.1 per cent and transportation costs were 29.9 per cent higher compared to June 2021. The three categories account for about 48.5 per cent of the harmonised CPI basket.

For a third consecutive month in two years, since the start of the start of Covid-19 pandemic in Bulgaria in March 2020, NSI made no mention of its ability to collect data being impaired and having to extrapolate statistical data.

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

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