Food and non-alcohol drinks had the largest upward impact on inflation last month, followed by transport, restaurants, and hotels, even if eating places were closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, only making deliveries, and hotels practically empty.
A spokeswoman for the National Statistics Office told whoswho.mt that although restaurants were closed, some were still operative, catering for delivery services. Thus, the NSO still monitored prices in the case of outlets making deliveries.
Price readings for restaurants, she explained, were mainly obtained by telephone surveys. In the case of accommodation, the price was imputed by taking into consideration the seasonal pattern of the time series. Such imputation was carried out in line with Eurostat’s methodological guidelines.
The contribution to annual inflation is not affected by the month under review only but also by developments recorded in previous months, she noted.
The National Statistics Office said it was highest prices of milk that caused the food and non-alcoholic beverage index (+0.50 percentage points) to have the highest effect on the annual inflation.
The transport index was up 0.29 percentage points and the restaurants and hotels index grew by 0.24 percentage points. In this category, the main contributing factors were costlier fuels and more expensive restaurant services, which included cafes and similar outlets.
The education index (-0.19 percentage points), the furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance index (-0.09 percentage points) and the clothing and footwear index (-0.08 percentage points) had a downward impact on the annual inflation. This was mainly due to lower private school fees, and less expensive furniture/furnishings, and footwear.