Lithuania: Inflation accelerates sharply in March
April 8, 2011
In March, consumer prices rose 1.0% over the previous month, well above the 0.1% increase recorded in February. In fact, the reading marked the highest monthly increase since January 2010. The monthly increase was driven by higher prices for clothing and footwear, which added 4.9% over the previous month, following the arrival of new collections. Rising prices for transport (+1.9% month-on-month) as well as for food and non-alcoholic beverages (+1.3% mom) also contributed to the strong March print. As a consequence of the pronounced price increase, annual headline inflation jumped from 3.1% in February to 3.8%, beating market expectations of 3.2%. Meanwhile, annual average HICP inflation (based on the harmonized index of consumer prices) stepped up from February's 1.8% to 2.1%. The Central Bank expects HICP inflation to average 2.8% in 2011 and increase to 3.4% in 2012.