Czech Inflation Quickens in December

Czech bank key interest rate

Czech inflation accelerated at the end of 2021 but the focus of investors has already shifted to the start of this year when consumer prices are expected to rise at the faster pace in over two decades.

The annual inflation rate rose to 6.6% in December, from 6% in the previous month, data from Czech Statistics Office showed Wednesday.

The last time the country experienced such rapid inflation was in September 2008.

The average rate of inflation for the whole of 2021 was 3.8 percent. This was also the highest seen since 2008.

Three central bank board members said this week that price growth may approach 10% in early 2022 before it starts slowing later in the year.

The central bank has pledged to continue with one of the European Union’s most aggressive campaigns of interest-rate increases, after lifting borrowing costs by a cumulative 3.5 percentage points since June.

The biggest contribution to annual December inflation came from cost of transportation and housing.

While commodity prices and supply-chain problems are among key price drivers, the central bank says its monetary-policy tightening is aimed at preventing current high inflation from becoming a long-term phenomenon

The Czech Republic has the lowest jobless rate in the EU and policymakers want to prevent a wage-price spiral.

 

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