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Annual Inflation Down to 2.3% in June (adds)

Ljubljana, 29 June (STA) - Slovenian consumer prices fell 0.6% in June over the month before due to lower prices of fruit, fuel, clothing and communication services, while Slovenia's annual inflation rate dropped by 0.1 percentage points to 2.3%, the Statistics Office said on Friday.

The price of fruit, which was down as much as 21%, contributed 0.4 percentage points to the drop in consumer prices in the past month. Lower fruit prices also pulled down the prices in statistical group of food and non-alcoholic beverages by 2% in June over May.

Meanwhile, fresh fish and fish products were up 1.8% and coffee, tea and cocoa gained 1.7%. The prices of vegetables were up 1.3% and oils and fats were 1.2% dearer.

The prices of clothing and footwear were down 3.8% on the monthly level. Footwear dropped as much as 9.4% due to pre-seasonal discounts.

The price of communication services dropped 1%, especially due to cheaper telephony and internet services, which shed 1.1% on average. Telephones and other communication devices meanwhile gained 0.4%.

Prices of services in the transport group dropped 0.8% on average on monthly level. The drop was fuelled by lower prices of petroleum products, which were down 2.7%. However, passenger transport by air was 4.8% up this month.

The only statistical group to see prices go up were recreation and culture (2.7%) and health care (0.1%). The increase in recreation and culture was fuelled by an 8.6% hike in the prices of package holidays. The prices of newspapers and magazines gained as much as 5.2%.

In the first half of the year average consumer prices were up 2.1%, while in the same period last year Slovenia recorded a 1.9% inflation.

The biggest hike in prices for the first six months of 2012 was recorded in recreation and culture. The prices of package holidays were up 10.9%, sports equipment increased by 8%, while books and other printed material was up 4.5%.

The prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages were up 4.1% in the first half of the year (fruit went up 19% and vegetables by 15.8%).

On the annual level, the biggest hike in prices was recorded in alcoholic beverages and tabacco (5.1%), followed by housing (4.9%), food and non-alcoholic beverages (3.7%), transport (2.6%) and hospitality services (2.1%). Prices for communication services dropped 2.8%.

Measured with the harmonised index of consumer prices, an EU benchmark, prices in Slovenia rose by 2.4% in the past twelve months.

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