Inflation fell to 3.5 per cent in April

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Inflation in Austria continues to fall. According to a flash estimate, inflation fell to 3.5 per cent in April compared to the same month last year, the lowest level since September 2021, as Statistics Austria announced on Tuesday. “Gas prices fell significantly below the high level of the previous year for the first time since 2020,” said Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas, according to the press release. Package holidays also had a dampening effect on prices.

A year ago, these were still strong price drivers. “However, price increases in the catering sector are still above average and fuel prices are continuing to rise,” explained Thomas. According to Statistics Austria, the price level in April rose by an estimated 0.1 percent compared to March.

Given the forecasts, Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) assumes that annual inflation will halve in 2024 compared to the previous year. “At 3.4 per cent, the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) has the same value as Spain,” added Brunner, according to the press release.

However, Austria remains well above the eurozone average. According to estimates, this was 2.4 per cent in April. Belgium had the highest figure at 4.9 per cent, while Lithuania had the lowest at 0.4 per cent. The annual rates for the main components developed as follows in April: “services” up 3.7 per cent, “food, alcohol and tobacco” up 2.8 per cent, “industrial goods excluding energy “up 0.9 percent, and “energy” down 0.6 per cent.

The measures taken by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the federal government are having an effect, explained Economics Minister Martin Kocher (ÖVP) in a press release about the fall in inflation in Austria. Gas price reductions would now reach consumers. Kocher said that fuel prices are no longer a damper on inflation. “A large part of the decreasing inflationary pressure comes from the service sector.”
– source: APA/picture: pixabay.com

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