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Consumer and retail sector inflation expectations for 2024: Insights from the Republic Statistical Office

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According to the latest publication “Trends in IV quarter of 2023″ by the Republic Statistical Office (RZS), consumer price inflation is expected to rise by 4.7 percent in the second quarter of this year and further increase to 5.6 percent in the third quarter. These projections suggest that the average annual growth in consumer prices for 2024 could range between 5.0 percent to 5.5 percent.

RZS utilizes a model based on consumer and retail sector expectations to gauge inflationary trends. Consumer inflation expectations are derived from weighted responses considering factors such as age, income, education, occupation type, working hours, and gender. These expectations are surveyed monthly, with respondents providing their anticipated inflation perceptions for each upcoming period.

The inflationary expectations of the retail trade sector are a composite of monthly projections for food, non-food items, motor vehicles, and fuel sales within the sampled retail chains.

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Looking back at 2023, RZS notes that dairy products, including milk, cheese, and eggs, significantly contributed to the overall annual price growth, both in the food sector and overall consumer prices. Dairy product prices saw an average increase of 25.5 percent compared to 2022, driven primarily by higher prices for yogurt, fresh milk with higher milk fat content, various types of fresh cheese, and chicken eggs.

The year-on-year price growth for vegetables in 2023 was 27.0 percent, with prices gradually stabilizing from the third quarter onwards. This increase was mainly influenced by the prices of onions, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and carrots throughout the year.

Meat prices saw a 14.7 percent increase in 2023, primarily due to higher prices for pork, bacon, and sausages, collectively contributing to over half of the overall meat price growth.

Bread and cereals experienced an average price increase of 15.5 percent in 2023, driven by rising prices for items such as white bread, salty snacks, bureks, cakes, and sweet pies.

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These insights provide valuable data for understanding inflationary trends and their impact on consumer behavior and the retail sector in the coming year.

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