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UPDATE 1 - Croatia's Dec inflation meets analyst expectations - Erste

UPDATE 1 - Croatia's Dec inflation meets analyst expectations - Erste Author: Georgi Georgiev. License: All rights reserved.

ZAGREB (Croatia), January 16 (SeeNews) - Croatia's consumer price inflation accelerated to 1.4% year-on-year at end-2019 from November's 0.7%, meeting the expectations of analysts at Austria-based Erste banking group, Erste said on Thursday. 

The December inflation rate has closely matched Erste's 1.2% expectations, the group said in an instant comment after Croatia's statistical office published the inflation data earlier on Thursday. 

Erste also noted that the monthly drop of 0.1% in Croatia's consumer price index (CPI) in December came mostly from lower prices of clothing and footwear. Still higher food and transport prices worked in the opposite direction.

The Erste analysts said they see average inflation of slightly above 1% in Croatia in 2020, followed by an average annual consumer price inflation of 0.8% in 2019.

"2020 should bring no major surprises in inflation footprint ahead – demand-side pressures should accelerate only marginally, reflecting a strong consumption profile, while supply side remains mostly sensitive to energy prices," Erste noted. 

According to data of Croatia's statistical office, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which have the largest weight of 27.81% in the consumer basket, gained 2.1% year-on-year in December, after edging up 0.4% in November. Prices of housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, with a 16.44% weight, added 2% in December, after rising by 1.8% in November. 

Croatia's average consumer price inflation for the 12 months to end-December slowed to 0.8%, from 1.5% in 2018 and 1.1% in 2017.