Ljubljana, 31 March (STA) - Higher prices of clothing and footwear pushed up Slovenia's inflation rate by 0.5 percentage points in March to 0.6% at the annual level as new arrivals hit stores. The monthly inflation rate was 0.8%.
Measured with the harmonised index of consumer prices, an EU-wide standard, the annual inflation rate stood at 0.6% and the monthly rate at 0.7%, the Statistics Office reported on Monday.
After discount sales, the new spring-summer collection pushed up prices of clothing by 13.5% and footwear by 8.1% in March, contributing 0.8 percentage points to the monthly increase in consumer prices.
A 3.7% rise in prices of car insurance and price hikes in the group transport, especially a 9.8% surge in the prices of passenger airfares, contributed another 0.1 percentage points each.
On the other hand, a 3.5% drop in prices of vegetables pushed the monthly inflation down by 0.1 points.
Higher prices of clothing (+1.5%) and footwear (6.6%) also contributed the most to the annual growth in consumer prices; i.e. 0.2 percentage points.
Similar impacts on annual inflation had a 5.4% hike in prices of utility and other services, 8% costlier transport services, a 2% rise in insurance service prices and 2.6% costlier alcoholic beverages and tobacco.
Significantly higher prices year-on-year were also recorded in newspapers and periodicals (+5.5%), financial services (+5.1%) and maintenance and repairs of vehicles (+4.4%).
Meanwhile, prices of fuels and lubricants decreased by 4.7% to push annual inflation down by 0.3 points, while prices of electricity, gas and other fuels fell by 1.8% to reduce inflation by 0.2 points.
Additionally, annual growth rate was pushed down by lower prices of second-hand motor cars (-5.4%) and vegetables (-5.5%). Prices of phones and other equipment fell by as much as 11.7% in a year.