February Core Inflation Slightly Up
NBP data: Inflation net of food and energy prices amounted to 2.6% in February, as against 2.5% in January and 3.1 % in December 2011. Two of the remaining core inflation measures also increased.
On 20 March 2012, the National Bank of Poland announced data on February core inflation. Three of its measures had risen on their January levels. Thus:
- excluding administered (state-controlled) prices, inflation stood at 4.0%, as against 3.7% in January and 4.3% in December;
- excluding the most volatile prices, inflation amounted to 3.6%, as against 3.4% in January and 4.1% in December;
- excluding food and energy prices, inflation amounted to 2.6%, as against 2.5% in January and 3.1 % in December;
- the so-called trimmed mean (excluding the impact of 15% of the price basket characterised by the highest and lowest growth rates) was running at 4.3% (unchanged on the January level; as against 4.7% recorded in December 2011)
For reference, the CPI (consumer inflation) index stood at 4.3% in February, and was also higher than its January figure of 4.1%.
The National Bank of Poland computes four core inflation indices on a monthly basis, striving to highlight the nature of inflation developments in Poland. While the CPI shows the average movement in prices in the whole basket of consumer goods, by calculating core inflation indices we analyse price changes in various segments of the basket. Thus, sources of inflation can be identified more easily and its trends forecast more accurately. We can also determine how long-lasting the observed inflation trend is and, whether or not and to what extent, it is driven by, for example, short-lived price hikes triggered by unpredictable factors. Inflation net of food and energy prices is the core inflation measure most frequently used by economic analysts. It captures movements in prices which are, to a relatively high extent, impacted by the central bank's monetary policy. On the other hand, energy prices (including those of fuels) are not set domestically, but determined in the global markets, sometimes through speculation, whereas food prices depend, among other things, on weather conditions and situation in the domestic and global agricultural markets.
See: the NBP announcement on February 2012 core inflation