0.6% DEFLATION REPORTED IN MAY
The National Statistics Institute (NSI) reported 0.6% deflation in May. Prices rose 1.7% within the last 12 months. Deflation in May was due to the decreased prices of foodstuffs, by 0.8%, and of non-foods, by 1.2%, from April 2003. Prices of catering establishments and services rose slightly.Pork went down 3.4%, and beef and veal became 1.3% cheaper. The downward price trend of these products has been persistent since the beginning of 2003, commented Mariana Popovska, chief expert at the NSI's Consumer Prices Index Department. Bread and cereals went down too, and the price decrease of transport costs was one of the biggest in May - 3.8 per cent. Petrol was selling 7.7% cheaper, and the prices of other liquid fuels were reduced by 10.2 per cent. Milk and dairy products went down by 0.9 per cent. Eggs registered 4.2% decline in prices, following their rise in March and April. The prices of vegetables dropped by 5.35% in May, but at the same time we were buying fruits that were 12.9% more expensive. NSI's data show no change in the prices of tobacco products and alcoholic drinks. Inflation since the beginning of 2003 was 0.8 per cent. But inflation in July is preestimated by NSI's experts at between 1.5% and 1.6% if as of the beginning of the same month electricity and central heating prices are hiked by 15% and 10%.