Bulgaria's Inflation Slows to 3% in March, Marking Lowest Rate Since July 2021

Finance | April 15, 2024, Monday // 12:34|  views


In a recent report by the National Statistical Institute, Bulgaria's annual inflation rate for March witnessed a notable deceleration, settling at 3% compared to the previous month's figure of 3.0%. This marks the lowest inflation rate observed in the country since July 2021, when it also stood at 3 percent.

Since the outset of 2024, Bulgaria has seen a modest inflation rate of 1%, with the average annual inflation for the period spanning April 2023 to March 2024 reaching 6.5%, in contrast to the corresponding period of April 2022 to March 2023.

Breaking down the data on a monthly basis, March saw a slight uptick in inflation by 0.2% compared to the preceding month, where it recorded a 0.3% increase. Notable increases within the month were observed in the consumer categories of "entertainment and culture" (0.9%), communications (0.9%), and transport (0.8%), while the most significant decreases were registered in "clothing and footwear" (-0.6%), housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels (-0.5%), and food products and non-alcoholic beverages (-0.1%).

Harmonized inflation, as per the HICP index, experienced a marginal monthly increase of 0.2% in March 2024, while harmonized consumer inflation on an annual basis saw a notable slowdown to 3.1% from 3.5% in February.

The Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices serves as a standardized measure of inflation across EU countries and is a pivotal criterion for both price stability and Bulgaria's potential accession to the Eurozone.

Further analysis reveals that the price index for the small consumer basket witnessed a modest decrease of 0.4% on a monthly basis in March 2024, with a 1.1% increase compared to March 2023.

In terms of the prices of the small basket tailored for the lowest-income 20% of households, March saw significant decreases in food goods (-0.5%) and non-food products (-0.5%), while service prices remained unchanged from February.

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Tags: Bulgaria, inflation, rate, deceleration


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