Ljubljana, 30 September (STA) - The annual inflation rate in Slovenia jumped by 1.2 percentage points to 2.1% in September on the back of a spike in clothes prices following the summer clearance sales.
The monthly inflation rate stood at 0.6%, owing mostly to the 14.3% increase in the prices of clothing and footwear, the Statistics Office said on Friday.
The increase in the prices of clothing and footwear reduced the dampening effect that the product group had on annual inflation, offsetting increases in energy prices and food.
Costlier clothing and footwear contributed one percentage point to inflation.
The prices of furnishing, household equipment and maintenance rose by 0.8%, mainly on account of costlier household textiles, carpets and other floor coverings.
Prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco rose by 0.3% and those of food and non-alcoholic beverages by 0.2%.
Prices in the latter group were seasonally affected by a 2.9% hike in the prices of fruit and a 3.9% drop in the prices of vegetables.
Prices of transport rose by 0.1%, mainly on account of a 1.6% hike in road passenger transport and 0.7% increase in the prices of new cars and costs of car maintenance.
Also a seasonal occurrence, the prices of package holidays dropped by 12.9% and the prices of accommodation services in hotels were down 4.4%.
The consumer price index returned above 2% for the first time since May.
The biggest annual hike in prices was recorded in the group housing, water, electricity, gas and other (5.1%), followed by food and non-alcoholic beverages (4.4%).
Clothing and footwear saw the most substantial drop in prices year-on-year (3.4%).
The Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD) said that the price growth in September had been expected and that it had been affected by seasonal factors.
But the government think-tank attributed the high annual growth to "the impact of low basis, i.e. price trends in the past related to the introduction of subsidized school meals in September 2010".
Measured with the harmonised index of consumer prices, the EU standard, prices were up by 2.3% year-on-year.
The annual inflation rate in the eurozone increased by half a percentage point to 3% in September, according to Eurostat.