The slight decrease of the inflation rate in November 2012 is largely due to energy prices (household energy and motor fuels): the price of energy rose 3.8% in November 2012 on November 2011; that is a smaller increase than in the months before. Not considering energy prices, the rate of inflation has remained constant at 1.6% since October 2012. It is increasingly determined by higher food prices: within a year’s time, food prices went up by as much as 4.2%.
In the food category, substantial price increases on a year earlier were recorded in particular for fruit (10.5%) and vegetables (6.9%), but also for meat and meat products (6.1%). There were considerable rises in the prices of many other foodstuffs, for example fish and fish products (5.2%), bread and cereals (3.6%) and confectionery (3.4%). Only the prices of oils and fats (−6.4%) were notably down on the same month one year earlier. That decline is largely due to the butter price (−13.5% on November 2011).
In the energy products category, especially the charges for central and district heating were up 7.6%. The prices recorded for heating oil (+4.0%), electricity (+3.1%), gas and motor fuels (both +3.0%) in November 2012 were also markedly above the level of the preceding year. In the non-durable consumer goods category, above-average price increases were determined, among others, for newspapers and periodicals (+4.2%) and tobacco products (+3.0%) as for food and energy. The prices of goods in general rose by 2.5% in November 2012 compared with November 2011 (including non-durable consumer goods: +3.2%; durable consumer goods: +0.2%).
The prices of total services were up by a mere 1.2% in November 2012 (including net rents exclusive of heating expenses: +1.1%). Worth mentioning is the continuing marked price decrease for financial services, which is mainly due to the fact that banks have gradually stopped charging handling fees for personal loans, with the price drop amounting to 27.3% in November 2012 against November 2011.
Compared with October 2012 energy prices decreased a total 1.1%. Motor fuel prices were down for the second month in a row (motor fuels: –2.7%; including supergrade petrol: –3.3%, diesel fuel: –0.5%). The prices of heating oil went down, too (–2.4%). Seasonal price drops were determined for instance with regard to accommodation services (–3.8%). In contrast, food prices were up on the preceding month (+1.4%). In addition to the usual seasonal price increases for some fruits and vegetables (for instance grapes: +37.8%; kiwi fruit: +5.9%; butterhead lettuce and iceberg salad: +55.0%; potatoes: +2.4%), consumers also had to pay markedly higher prices in November 2012 for dairy products and eggs (+2.1%; including milk: +8.0%; fresh milk: +7.1%; curd: +5.9%).