Austria’s inflation falls to *8.8 percent but still too high
*Edit: Official figures are now in and Austria’s inflation rate at the end of May, 2023 was 9.0 percent. So even higher than had been estimated, and more than double the inflation rate in the United States for the same period.
While some Austrian politicians seem to be congratulating themselves due to a slightly lower inflation rate in Austria on June 1st, 2023 (per estimated May, 2023 figures), it is worth noting while inflation may have fallen slightly since the end of April, Austria still has one of the highest inflation rates in Europe.
Even with its estimated inflation rate for May, 2023 down to 8.8 percent from April’s 9.7 percent.
A still high inflation rate in Austria compared to countries like Spain (3.2 percent), Belarus (3.7 percent), Cyprus (3.0 percent), Denmark (2.9 percent), Greece (2.8 percent), Liechtenstein (2.2 percent), Luxembourg (3.6 percent), Portugal (4.0 percent), Switzerland (2.2 percent) Russia (2.5 percent) and others.
Then again, most of those countries’ governments didn’t shut down their economies for the better part of two years due to an over-reaction to a virus over 99.8 percent of people who contract it survive.
Nor did they ban their “unvaccinated” from much of normal life for months.
Or mandate restaurants, cafes, hotels, independent shops and other small businesses remain closed or offer reduced services for more than a year.
No, that was Austria’s government that did all of those things, and Austria’s government that is now largely to blame for the still high inflation rate many people living in the country are still struggling to handle.
Austria’s inflation rate at a projected 8.8 percent
That being said, once the inflation rate for May, 2023 is officially confirmed to be 8.8 percent, that does mean it is the lowest inflation rate in Austria since June, 2022.
According to analysts, falling fuel prices are the main reason Austria’s inflation rate has declined over the last month, as food prices have still continued to rise along with prices for many other products.
(The Kurier reported last week that many food items in Austria are currently up to 150 percent higher in Austria than in Germany for the same brand).
Some analysts, however, expect those prices to also begin to fall in the next few months as slower economic growth, more stable commodity prices and supply chain improvements should mean slower price growth.
Even so, an eye should be kept on the still-volatile energy markets, the price increases for services, and at government subsidies being phased out, as all of those things could keep inflation above government targets through at least the rest of 2023 and possibly beyond.
Special Note: Even though food prices have increased in Austria quite markedly over the last 18 months they are still, on average, a lot cheaper than food prices in the United States.
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