Soaring fuel prices brisk inflation

Last month saw inflation rise at its most dramatic rate in more than one year, official figures released today (Fri) show.State agency Statistik Austria reported inflation rose by two per cent in March compared to the same month of 2009, the highest year on year increase since developments in November 2008.Soaring car fuel and heating oil prices are the main factors for the increase. Car petrol prices jumped by 20 per cent, while the average price for heating oil soared by 30 per cent in March year on year.The March inflation rate would have only risen by 1.2 per cent without these increases.OGM researchers found only last week that 90 per cent of Austrians think mineral oil industry firms carry out price fixing. Many Austrians were furious as prices at the country’s petrol stations jumped dramatically short before the Easter holidays.Car fuel prices in Austria are nevertheless still lower than in most of the country’s seven neighbouring countries.A year on year flat rents price hike of 4.4 per cent also played a part in the development, experts said.Inflation rose by 1.1 per cent last month compared to February 2010. Clothes and shoes were found the most expensive consumer goods last month. Prices in these sectors soared by 8.8 per cent compared to the previous month due to the end of winter sale.Jewellery and watches were 13 per cent more expensive in March 2010 compared to March 2009. This increase however had comparably little impact on overall development since these goods only make up a small part of overall spending.Flight ticket prices meanwhile soared by a whopping 8.3 per cent from February 2010 to March 2010.Vienna International Airport (VIA) officials only yesterday reported a nine per cent year on year increase in passenger numbers for last month. VIA is Austria’s biggest and busiest airport for domestic and international flights.