Bulgaria annual inflation declines to 8.5% in July

Bulgaria’s annual consumer price index (CPI) recorded 8.5 per cent inflation in July 2023, a small drop from 8.7 per cent a month earlier, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said on August 16.

It was the seventh consecutive drop in the annual inflation figure recorded in Bulgaria, but the monthly CPI showed an increase of 0.9 per cent, the highest in six months and coming on the heels of two consecutive months in which the CPI shrank on a monthly basis.

Food prices in July were 0.1 per cent higher compared to the previous month, while non-food prices fell by 0.1 per cent and services prices rose by 3.6 per cent.

CPI figures in July can display higher fluctuations because it is the first month of the yearly regulatory period for electricity and central heating prices. Last month, Bulgaria’s utilities regulator EWRC raised electricity prices for household consumers by an average of 4.37 per cent.

Compared to July 2022, food prices were 13.5 per cent higher, while non-food and services prices rose by 3.8 per cent and eight per cent, respectively.

The harmonised CPI figure, calculated by NSI for comparison with European Union data, recorded 1.2 per cent inflation in July, and the annual harmonised CPI inflation was 7.8 per cent, up from 7.5 per cent a month earlier.

Food and beverage prices were 13.6 per cent higher in July, on an annual basis, while the price of utilities and housing increased by 5.8 per cent and transportation costs were eight cent lower compared to July 2022. The three categories account for 48.9 per cent of the harmonised CPI basket.

(Consumer price index changes since July 2022. Bars illustrate the annual CPI inflation and lines show the monthly CPI inflation. Graphic: NSI)

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