Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Latvia FinMin projects average inflation at 14.6 pct in 2008

RIGA - Latvia's average inflation is expected to reach 14.6 percent in 2008, Latvian Finance Minister Atis Slakteris told ministers in a report on budget performance in the first quarter of the year, said the BNS news agency.
The minister said, though, that this was a 'cautiously optimistic scenario', adding that the economic situation in Latvia also depended on external risks, considering continuous problems in global financial markets, especially in the United States.
According to the report, average inflation in 2007 was 10.1%, including a 14.1 percent 12-month inflation in December.
In the first quarter of 2008, consumer prices jumped 5.7 percent with the 12-month inflation rate reaching 16.8 percent in March.
'Price increases could be seen in the regulated services sector, especially heating energy. Increased prices for cigarettes had a substantial effect on the average price level, basically because the excise tax on cigarettes was raised in compliance with EU minimum requirements. Food and fuel also rose in price significantly due to the global market situation,' the ministry said.