Inflation Rises to 2.5% in May, Slightly Below Expectations

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Preliminary data from the Central Statistical Office (GUS) indicate that consumer inflation in May reached 2.5%, up from 2.4% in April and 2% in March. This increase, while notable, is lower than the anticipated 2.8% forecast by economists.

The GUS released its flash estimate on Wednesday, revealing that prices for consumer goods and services rose by 2.5% compared to May 2023, with a month-over-month increase of 0.1% from April 2024. Specifically, the price index for May stood at 102.5 year-on-year and 100.1 month-on-month.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages saw a 1.6% price increase from the previous year and a 0.3% rise from April. Fuel prices for private transportation increased by 3.6% year-on-year but decreased by 0.3% compared to the previous month. In contrast, energy prices dropped by 1.8% compared to May last year and by 0.2% from April this year.

Adam Glapiński, President of the National Bank of Poland (NBP), recently addressed potential inflation trends for the coming quarters. He expressed concerns about a possible rise in inflation, citing uncertainties in the scale of this increase. Glapiński highlighted that the discontinuation of certain fiscal measures could contribute to this uptick.

As of early April, the reduced VAT rate on food products ceased to be in effect, and energy price shields are scheduled to end mid-year. According to Glapiński, preliminary estimates suggest that these changes could drive inflation above 5% by the end of the year, significantly exceeding the inflation target.

The GUS data underscore ongoing inflationary pressures in Poland, influenced by various factors including fuel and energy prices, as well as changes in tax policy. As the economic landscape evolves, close monitoring of these trends will be crucial for policymakers and consumers alike.

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