Consumer price level in March 2006

10.04.2006

Compared to February 2006, the average level of consumer prices in March 2006 rose by 0.2%. Prices for goods increased by 0.3% and prices for services went up by 0.1%.

Consumer price changes in March were mostly influenced by a fall in the prices of vegetables and the rise in the prices of electricity, wearing apparel and footwear.

In March there was a decrease in food product prices that was strongly influenced by a fall in vegetable prices. At the same time there was increase in the prices of potatoes, fish, non-alcoholic beverages, cooking oil and fats and some meat products.

The prices of alcoholic beverages went up while those for tobacco products decreased.

Following a price fall in the preceding three months, the prices of wearing apparel and footwear in March increased owing to the appearance of new season’s goods.

Due to the introduction of the new tariffs for electricity, the charge for electricity in March went up. There were rises in the dwelling rent, heating costs as well as in the dwelling maintenance costs, repair materials and solid fuel.

Health products, medical services, books and stationery became more expensive. The prices for catering services, hairdresser’s and other personal grooming services as well as for individual care services went up.

In March the prices of automotive fuel became lower. The prices of mobile telephones and mobile telephone services also went down.

Compared with March of the previous year, consumer prices rose by 6.5% (6.5% for goods and 6.8% for services).

Consumer price change by commodity groups, %:

Commodity group

March 2005 -
March 2006

December 2005 -
March 2006

February 2006 -
March 2006

Total

6.5

1.7

0.2

Food

7.1

2.7

-0.7

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco

8.6

2.9

0.2

Clothing and footwear

0.2

-4.3

3.6

Housing, water, electricity, gas and fuels

13.9

5.4

1.7

Furnishing, household equipment and operation

3.6

1.1

0.7

Health care

10.0

2.5

0.3

Transport

6.7

0.2

-0.7

Communication

-7.3

-1.0

-1.1

Recreation and culture

3.3

1.8

0.2

Education

9.1

0.2

0.0

Hotels and public catering

11.6

1.3

0.4

Miscellaneous goods and services

5.3

0.8

0.4

For further information:

Consumer Price Indices Section
Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

Oskars Alksnis 371-7366865