NBB report: Consumer inflation slows down due to April’s decline in core inflation

17.05.2019 12:07 / Belarus

MINSK, May 16 - PrimePress. The National Bank of Belarus (NBB) says the pace of growth of consumer prices in Apr 2019 slowed down largely due to the dynamics of core inflation, and to a lesser extent due to the dynamics of administered prices and tariffs, and seasonal prices.

The NBB posted these conclusions in its monthly overview of prices and tariffs.

In April 2019, inflation continued to slow down in year-on-year terms: consumer inflation slowed down by 0.3 percentage points year on year in Apr 2019 to 5.5%. The regulator says consumer prices grew by 0.04% year on year. Belarus’ annual core inflation (does not depend on variables, especially seasonal factors and administratively-controlled price-formation) decelerated to 4.6% from 4.9% in Mar 2019.

The NBB reports a 4.7% year-on-year deceleration in seasonal prices of agricultural products in Mar 2019, to compare with a 6% year-on-year increase in Feb 2019. The regulator says the accelerating growth of vegetable prices keeps affecting the situation in the group of seasonal prices of agricultural products, although the price of potatoes and fruits went down year on year.

The NBB report says: “In terms of groups of goods and services that are not subject to administrative price regulation and the influence of the seasonal factor, service tariffs and foodstuff prices demonstrate decelerating dynamics. Less intensive dynamics of prices for services is largely associated with a decrease in the annualized cost of air transport and tourism services.”

Trend inflation (a medium-term inflation indicator cleared from the influence of various shocks) slowed down by 0.1 percentage point year on year to 4.3% in Apr 2019.

The NBB reports an 8.1% year-on-year increase in administered prices and tariffs in Apr 2019 (down from 8.2% in Mar 2019). Although the pace of growth of utility tariffs and other categories of administered prices and tariffs slowed down year on year in April, the slowdown effect was almost completely offset by the accelerating growth of motor fuel prices.

The regulator says the year-on-year growth of vegetable prices slowed down to 4% in Apr 2019 from 4.7% in Mar 2019. However, some products (white cabbage, onions, tomatoes and carrots) keep demonstrating an accelerating growth.

As previously reported, Belarus saw 0.4% inflation in Mar 2019, with inflation growth totalling 2.6% in Jan-Mar 2019. The government’s inflation target for 2019 stands at 5%. Belarus saw 5.6% inflation in 2018 (official forecast – 6%). Food prices in 2018 grew 5.7%, non-foods – 3.8%, services – 8.1%.

Source: PrimePress

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