Energy prices still soaring

Higher household servicing expenses have avoided a significant decrease of inflation in Austria last month.State agency Statistik Austria found that a 3.3 per cent rise in energy prices and a 2.7 per cent increase of housing maintenance costs kept the annual inflation rate from declining more significantly than from 2.1 per cent in November 2009 to 1.9 per cent in the same month this year.The average price of heating oil rose by 18 per cent year on year while electricity and gas each became one per cent more expensive year on year, the authority said today (Thurs).The Austrian Energy Agency said just recently that the country’s households had to fork out 7.7 per cent more on average to pay their energy bills in October than in the same month of 2009. The institute stressed the price of heating oil prices jumped by a whopping 22.4 per cent year on year, while electricity price rates edged up by 1.1 per cent.Statistik Austria explained today prices in its “housing, water and energy” expenses group soared by 2.4 per cent year on year last month.The news, which indicates that the financial burden on tenants is increasing, comes after real estate market analysts reported a strong increase of flat prices. Experts said a rented apartment in Vienna cost 19 per cent more in the first quarter of 2010 than in the same time period three years ago.Statistik Austria also said today that the overall price level for services and goods in Austria edged down by 0.1 per cent month on month in November.The price for car fuel is, meanwhile, continuing to rise – but not as strongly as before.Figures presented today show a nine per cent year on year price hike for November after a 15 per cent increase was reported for October.The maintenance and repair of cars became four per cent more expensive between November 2009 and last month, while the average price for new cars rose by two per cent.Food was more expensive as well last month compared to November 2009.Prices in Statistik Austria’s “foodstuff and non-alcoholic beverages” group edged up by 1.2 per cent, while vegetables and fruit became seven and three per cent more expensive respectively.