Press Release

The average level of consumer prices decreased by 0.5 % over the year

The latest data of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that in December 2020, compared to December 2019, the average level of consumer prices* decreased by 0.5 %. Prices of goods fell by 1.4 %, while prices of services rose by 1.6 %.

Compared to December 2019, in December 2020 the average level of consumer prices was mainly influenced by the drop in prices of goods and services related to transport, goods and services related to housing, clothing and footwear, miscellaneous goods and services, as well as rise in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, health care, goods and services related to recreation and culture, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, restaurant and hotel services.

Over the year, prices within the group of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 1.1 %. The most significant price increases were for meat and meat preparations (1.7 %), including price increase for dried, salted or smoked meat (2.1 %), poultry (2.4 %) and meat preparations (2.0 %). Prices were higher for coffee (4.7 %), chocolate (7.8 %) and bakery products (2.5 %). Over the year, there was an increase in prices for buckwheat (17.7 %), which was partly influenced by the Covid-19 crisis, which had led to an increase in demand for this product. The average level of prices of milk products (2.3 %), cheese and curd (2.1 %), and fresh or chilled fish (9.2 %) also increased. Decline, in turn, was registered in prices of fresh fruit (2.2 %), potatoes (9.6 %), fresh vegetables (1.8 %) and milk (2.6 %).

Over the year the average level of prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco increased by 1.6 %. Tobacco products became 2.8% more expensive. Prices of alcoholic beverages increased on average by 0.8 %, mainly due to higher prices of spirits (1.6 %). The increase in prices over the year was also influenced by higher excise duty on alcoholic beverages as of 1 March 2020.

The average level of prices of clothing and footwear decreased by 2.9 %. Prices for garments fell on average by 2.4 %, but footwear prices - by 5.0 %.

Prices of goods and services related to housing dropped by 3.6 %, mainly due to lower prices for several utilities. Over the year prices of heat energy, natural gas, electricity, solid fuels and rentals for housing dropped. In turn maintenance charges in multi-occupied buildings, as well as services for the maintenance and repair of the dwelling became more expensive.

Over the year the average level of prices in the health care group increased by 3.5 %. The rise in price level was mainly influenced by the increase of dental service prices, prices in medical specialist practice as well as prices in general medical practice. In turn, the fall was registered in prices of pharmaceutical products, mainly due to a decrease in the average price level of reimbursable medical products.

Prices of goods and services related to transport declined by 4.5 %, which was affected by the drop in price of fuel by 11.9 %. Diesel prices fell by an average of 14.5 %, petrol - by 9.3 % and auto gas - by 5.6 %. Over the year, the average level of prices for passenger transport by air decreased, which was significantly affected by the Covid-19 global emergency. Prices increased for passenger transport by road, passenger transport by train as well as for cars.

The prices of cultural and recreational goods and services increased by 2.2 %. Over the year, the average level of prices for cultural services, personal computers, newspapers and magazines, as well as flowers increased. In turn, prices of toys dropped.

Covid-19 also had an impact on restaurant and hotel services, for which the average level of prices increased by 2.0 %. This price rise was mainly affected by catering services, as the average level of restaurant and café service prices increased by 2.3 % and that of canteen services by 5.0 %. For several months this year, most catering service providers offered food for takeaway. Hotel services were cheaper (11.2 %) and the number of guests decreased significantly due to the pandemic.

In the group of miscellaneous goods and services, prices decreased by 1.5 %, which was mainly due to the fall in prices for motor vehicle insurance, articles for personal hygiene and beauty products. Hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishment services became more expensive.

In other consumer groups, the most significant fall in prices was for non-electric kitchen utensils and items. In turn, prices rose for telecommunication services, housing furniture and higher education.

The average level of consumer prices remained unchanged during the month

In December 2020, compared to November 2020, the average level of consumer prices remained unchanged. The average level of prices for goods decreased by 0.3 %, while for services - increased by 0.5 %. The most significant impact on price changes was put by the fall in prices of clothing and footwear, miscellaneous goods and services, furnishings, cultural and recreational goods and services, as well as the rise in prices for goods and services related to transport, goods and services related to housing.

During the month, the average level of food and non-alcoholic beverage prices remained unchanged. The most significant drop in the price level was for fresh vegetables (4.2 %). Due to the sales, prices also decreased for dried, salted or smoked meat (1.7 %), milk (3.0 %), bread (0.9 %), bakery products (0.9 %), as well as breakfast cereals (4.8 %). As the sales ended, poultry became more expensive (3.2 %), as well as pork (3.3 %). The price levels for yoghurt (3.4 %), coffee (1.7 %), milk products (1.4 %) and rice (8.1 %) increased.

The average level of prices of clothing and footwear decreased by 3.7 %. Due to the sales prices of garments fell on average by 3.1 %, but prices of footwear - by 6.1 %.  Clothing and footwear could still be purchased in physical stores in the first half of December, therefore the restrictions announced and adopted in the country during the price registration period did not have significant impact on the group's index.

Prices of goods and services related to housing increased by 0.7 %. Heat energy became more expensive, which was mainly influenced by the increase in the heat energy price in Riga. The average level of prices of materials for housing maintenance and repair decreased (1.2%).

Prices in the group of furnishings decreased on average by 1.6 %. Due to the sales, non-electric kitchen utensils and items, as well as household cleaning and maintenance products became cheaper.

The average level of prices for goods and services related to transport increased by 2.3 %. Fuel became more expensive by 3.0 %; diesel - by 3.7 %, petrol - by 2.5 %, and auto gas - by 1.2 %. An increase in the average level of prices was also observed for second-hand cars.

Prices of goods and services related to recreation and culture decreased on average by 0.6 %. Due to the sales pet food and toys became cheaper.

In the group of miscellaneous goods and services there was a decrease in prices of 1.8 %, which was mostly influenced by the sales for articles for personal hygiene and beauty products.

In other consumer groups, the most significant decline in prices was for spirits, wine, pharmaceutical products, while prices increased for beer and medical specialist practices.

Price changes by commodity groups
(as per cent)

Groups

Price changes in December 2020, compared to:

December 2019

November 2020

Total

-0.5

0.0

food

1.1

0.0

alcohol, tobacco

1.6

-0.4

clothing, footwear

-2.9

-3.7

housing

-3.6

0.7

furnishings

0.6

-1.6

health

3.5

0.1

transport

-4.5

2.3

communications

1.5

0.0

recreation, culture

2.2

-0.6

education

2.1

0.0

restaurants, hotels

2.0

0.2

miscellaneous

-1.5

-1.8

Compared to 2015, consumer prices in December 2020 were 8.3 % higher. Prices of goods rose by 5.8 %, while prices of services - by 14.5 %.

Information on consumer price changes in January 2021 will be published on 10 February. More information on changes in consumer prices is available in the Official statistics portal in the section “Consumer prices”.

*The annual inflation reflects consumer price changes, comparing the average price level in the comparison month with the average price level in the corresponding month of the previous year.

COVID-19 influence on consumer price index in December

In December, the total share of Covid-19-related imputations was 2.2 %, which is 4.3 % of total household consumption expenditure.

Due to the continuation of an emergency situation and the related restrictions, Covid-19 had a significant impact on three subclasses of ECOICOP (European Classification of Individual Consumption according to Purpose) - passenger transport by air (imputation rate 50 %); cinemas, theatres, concerts (imputation rate 100 %); package holidays (imputation rate 63 %).

Imputations were calculated by the methods mentioned below in accordance with recommendations of Eurostat for compilation of indices under the impact of Covid-19:

  1. imputation with the annual rate of change of all reliable price indices 
    (In December 2020 annual consumer price index of all "reliable” indices constituted 99.5);

  2. imputation based on available prices for a particular good or service;

  3. the last observed price was used (carry forward).

Indices with significant number of imputations (> 50 %) caused by Covid-19 and thus having lower quality in the CSB database are indicated with "u." In the annual statistics section, the “u” characteristic is indicated next to the indices, where the number of imputations during the year was significant (> 50 %) in six or more months.

More detailed information on imputation methods used in Covid-19 circumstances, as well as action regarding compilation of indices in postcrisis circumstances is available at:

In December, the Covid-19 emergency continued to impose additional restrictions on both catering and education services. However, the share of imputations in these consumption groups was small as most catering providers offered dishes from the usual assortment to take away in December, while studies and various courses were held remotely. Additional restrictions regarding non-food product trade came into force as of 21 December but given that the price registration period is from 4th to 20th day of the month, they did not affect price registration in December.

 

Media requests:
Communication Section
E-mail:
media@csb.gov.lv

Phone: +371 67366989, +371 27880666

More information on data:
Nataļja Dubkova

Consumer Price Indices Section
E-mail: Natalja.Dubkova@csb.gov.lv
Phone: +371 67366644

 

Release date
Share this press release:

Statistical themes related to this press release