Annual inflation in the Czech Republic reached 12.7 percent in March, up from 11.1 percent in February, according to data released by the Czech Statistics Office.
Consumer price growth was thus the highest since May 1998, when it reached 13 percent. Fuel prices in March climbed by 50 percent year on year.
Consumer goods are up by 1.7 percent compared to the previous month. Inflation is expected to rise further and may hit 15 percent in mid-2022.
The outlook for the immediate future is not too encouraging, according to Vít Hradil, the chief economist at Cyrrus. “Oil and especially natural gas, due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, remain at high prices, which will be credited into the accounts of an increasing number of Czech households as their periods of fixation run out,” he explains.
“We are counting on food and other energy increases to bring inflation between 14-15% by the middle of this year, and the downward trend will be very gradual,” adds Jan Bureš, chief economist at Patria Finance.
Prices of electricity rose by 24.7 percent year-on-year, natural gas by 37.7 percent, products, and services for ordinary maintenance and repairs of buildings by 16.4 percent. Czechs had to pay for heat and hot water 13.9 percent more on average.
Prices of apartment rents rose by 4.4 percent, water by 5.3 percent, sewage by 6.4 percent and solid fuels by almost a fifth.
In the food and non-alcoholic beverages section, prices of flour were higher by 30.3 percent year-on-year, semi-skimmed shelf milk by 20.1 percent, butter by 31.9 percent and potatoes by 21.4 percent, Czech Statistics Office said.
Clothing was more expensive by almost 20 percent and footwear by 15.4 percent compared to last March.