Inflation comes in slightly above the forecast and just above the upper boundary of the CNB’s tolerance band in April 2021

The CNB comments on the April 2021 inflation figures

According to figures released today, the price level increased by 3.1% year on year in April 2021. Inflation was thus considerably higher than in March, slightly exceeding the upper boundary of the tolerance band around the CNB’s target. Consumer prices adjusted for the first-round effects of changes to indirect taxes rose by 3% year on year in April.

The April annual consumer price inflation figure was 0.2 percentage point higher than the CNB’s current forecast. The deviation was due predominantly to a larger-than-expected increase in food price inflation. A slightly higher pick-up in fuel prices, which are recording double-digit year-on-year growth largely on account of last year’s sharp drop in oil prices during the first wave of the pandemic, is acting in the same direction, albeit to a lesser extent. By contrast, the first-round effects of the increase in excise duty on cigarettes were somewhat lower than forecasted. The core inflation forecast materialised, with the slight rise in core inflation reflecting stronger growth in non-tradables prices. In line with the forecast, administered prices were flat year on year.

The April increase in inflation is in line with the overall story of the CNB’s current forecast. According to the forecast, annual consumer price inflation will temporarily accelerate towards the upper boundary of the tolerance band. This will be due to a sharp year-on-year increase in fuel prices, later supported also by buoyant growth in food prices, and also renewed growth in administered prices at the end of the year. Core inflation will fall only gradually from the current elevated levels. Its decline will be slowed by significant domestic demand pressures and brisk growth in industrial prices abroad. The overall inflation pressures will start to ease in the autumn as the current elevated growth of import prices subsides. Conversely, domestic price pressures will rise slightly owing to a reopening of the domestic economy and a gradual pick-up in wage growth. Inflation will return close to the CNB’s 2% target next year, aided by a gradual tightening of the monetary conditions from roughly the middle of this year onwards.

Petr Král, Executive Director, Monetary Department