ECONOMY

Fuel, food shrink CPI to 2.9 pct

Inflation posted a significant retreat last month, dropping to 2.9 percent from 3.9 percent in October 2008 and again 3.9 percent in November 2007, the National Statistics Service (NSS) announced yesterday. The drop in the consumer price index is mainly attributed to the decline in fuel prices and the containment of price rises at supermarkets, with a further drop expected this month, possibly down to 2.4 percent, according to Manolis Kontopyrakis, NSS’s general secretary. Nevertheless, core inflation (inflation minus energy and food commodities) stood at 3.4 percent, up from 3.3 percent a year earlier. Average inflation for the first 11 months of 2008 comes to 4.35 percent, up from 2.78 percent in the same period of 2007. Kontopyrakis expects inflation to close at an overall annual rate of 4.2 percent in December against a 4.3 percent forecast for 2009 on which next year’s draft budget is based. This may allow a slightly more relaxed revenue policy.