Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Czech Producer Prices February 2008

According to the latest release from the Czech Statistics Office prices of agricultural and industrial producers were up in February by 0.7% and 0.1%, respectively over January, while prices of construction work and market services grew by 0.4% and 1.1%, respectively.

In comparison to February 2007, prices of agricultural and industrial producers increased by 27.1% and 5.6%, respectively; prices of construction work and market services were up by 4.5% and 3.4%, respectively. That is core industrial producer prices are now rising at a 5.6% annual rate.

Agricultural producer prices grew by 0.7% in total. Prices of crop products rose by 2.0% due to higher prices of cereals (+3.4%). Prices of potatoes, fruit and vegetables fell by 5.8%, 2.3% and 1.7%, respectively. Prices of animal products fell by 1.0%; lower were prices of milk (-0.2%), poultry (-1.6%) and pigs for slaughter (-3.6%). Higher prices were recorded for eggs (+0.9%).

Industrial producer prices rose by 0.1% (+1.9% in January). The growth of price level came mainly from higher prices in ‘basic metals and fabricated metal products’ (+0.6%), ‘machinery and equipment” (+0.9%) and “chemicals, chemical products and man-made fibres’ (+1.1%). Prices increased in 'food products, beverages and tobacco’ by 0.2%, of which the most marked increase was recorded for ‘animal and vegetable oil and fats’ by 6.7% and ‘prepared animal feed’ by 2.4%. On the other hand, prices dropped in ‘meat and meat products’ by 1.6% and ‘dairy products and ice cream’ by 1.4%. Prices decreased in ‘transport equipment’ by 0.9%, ‘coke, refined petroleum products' by 0.8% and in ‘rubber and plastic products’ by 0.6%.

Construction work prices rose by 0.4%, and so did prices of construction material input (+0.6%).

At the same time export prices decreased by 2.6% in January (following a 2.1% decrease in December) dropping for the third month in a row. The underlying reason for this improved performance is undoubtedly the appreciation of the koruna. The biggest price decreases were registered in ‘miscellaneous manufactured articles’ which were down by 5.2% (particularly articles of apparel and clothing accessories), ‘machinery and transport equipment’ down by 4.9% (especially general industrial machinery and equipment) and ‘chemicals and related products’ down by 3.8%. In contrast, the highest price increases were recorded for ‘food and live animals’ - up by 12.7% (mainly cereals and cereal preparations) - and ‘mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials’ - up by 18.0% (particularly coal, coke and briquettes and electric current).

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