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Annual Inflation Rises to 2.6% (adds)

Ljubljana, 30 April (STA) - Slovenia's annual inflation rate rose 0.3 percentage points in April to 2.6% as consumer prices increased 1.1% on the month before on the back of surging prices of clothing and footwear, higher excise on alcohol and tobacco, and soaring fuel prices, the Statistics Office said on Monday.

Clothing and footwear were up 5.2% on the month before as new collections hit stores.

Tobacco and alcoholic beverages were 2.3% dearer due to higher excise duties.

In transport prices rose by 1%, mostly on account of a 2.9% increase in the prices of fuel.

At the monthly level prices decreased on average only in the group communication (1.1%), where telephone and internet services were 1.1% cheaper.

Higher prices of clothing and footwear pushed the inflation rate up by 0.4 percentage points and higher prices of fruit and petroleum products by 0.2 percentage points each.

Year-on-year prices increased in all groups bar communication, where they fell by 2.6%.

The biggest increases were recorded in the groups alcoholic beverages and tobacco (5.1%), food and non-alcoholic beverages (4.7%), transport (4.1%), and housing, water, electricity and gas supply (4.0%).

Measured with the harmonised index of consumer prices, an EU benchmark, prices in Slovenia rose by 2.9% in the past twelve months, up 0.5 percentage points on March.

The Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD), the government's macroeconomic think-tank, said the latest inflation figures were "broadly in line with expectations."

"In the long term domestic and eurozone inflation remain subdued and driven by weak economic activity," IMAD said in a press release.

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