The pace of inflation, driven by a surge in wages following an economic expansion which ran at an 8.7 percent average from 2000 to 2007, has more than doubled in a year. Rising prices are adding to the pressures on domestic consumption even as a credit crunch has been slowing growth to an annual 0.4 percent in the first quarter, the European Union's second slowest after Italy.
In May 2008 compared to May of the previous year, the prices of goods changed by
10.4%, of which the prices of food by 16.2% and the prices of manufactured goods
by 5.9%. The prices of services increased 12.9% during the year. Regulated
prices of goods and services changed by 20.5% and non-regulated prices by 8.7%.
The index was mainly influenced by the price increase of food, by the increase
in the expenditures on housing, as well as by the increase in the prices of
motor fuel. As before, dairy-, cereal- and meat products gave more than two
thirds of the price increase of food. The increase in the expenditures on
housing was mainly influenced by the increase in the prices of heat