TALLINN - Consumer prices reached an annual rate of 9.1 percent in November, the statistics bureau announced Dec. 7, continuing their steady upward climb since August's level of 5.7. Compared with October, the consumer index increased 1.4 percent.
Food prices led the growth, soaring 12.3 percent, while those for housing rose 13.4 percent and transport 8.7 percent. Overall goods increased 8.2 percent, while services were up 10.9 percent annually, the Statistical Office said.
The consumer price index was mainly influenced by an increase in the prices of milk, cereals and meat products, as well as a jump in expenditures on housing and fuel, the office said.
Andres Saarniit, an adviser at the Bank of Estonia, said that the November CPI rise was influenced by the rise in world market prices for food and fuel, whereas price increases for other goods and services had slowed.
The bank issued an estimate earlier this year forecasting that inflation would slow down to 7.4 percent next year, adding that the upcoming excise tax hikes, set to be phased in starting January, would neutralize any hopes that inflation would slow over the winter.
Analysts expect that inflation will continue to rise and reach double digits in early 2008.