ECONOMY

Deflation persists, but at a lower rate

August became the 18th month in a row during which the consumer price index showed a decline, albeit at a smaller rate, as the negative inflation rate amounted to 0.3 percent last month, according to data released on Wednesday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). That contrasts with the 1.3 percent deflation rate recorded in August last year.

The data showed that potatoes were the commodity that posted the biggest price drop, amounting to 32.7 percent on an annual basis, followed by fresh fruit (down 16.9 percent), sugar (12.4 percent) and natural gas (11 percent).

On the other hand there was a significant rise in the price of medicines (26.7 percent) and air tickets, but it should be noted that the rise in drug prices is attributed to the increase in the contribution that the insured must pay compared to the social security funds.

In the food category, which recorded a general price decline of 2.4 percent, there was also a drop for vegetables, fish, cereals and meat, while prices for dairy products, eggs and olive oil picked up.

The category with the biggest slide in prices was education, due to the reduction in tuition fees at private schools. The hotels-cafes-restaurants category posted a modest 0.4 percent price drop because the decrease in restaurant prices was offset by the rise in hotel rates.