Polish inflation highest since mid-1990s

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Annual inflation in Poland reached its highest level since 1996 in February, according to data released on Wednesday by the national statistics service GUS.

Consumer prices increased 18.4% year on year in February, up from 16.6% the previous month.

Economists predict that the latest surge will be the peak of the current cycle, but Polish consumers report that they are struggling to pay household bills and buy basic groceries, with price growth at its steepest in more than a quarter of a century.

According to the data, the February reading surpassed the previous high of 17.9% set in October 2022, with food, transportation, and energy costs rising the fastest last month.

Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices increased by up to 27% year on year in February, compared to 26.6% in January. According to the report, housing-related rates increased by 22.7%, while the cost of heating fuel, water, and central heating increased.

In 2022, the Polish economy slowed due to soaring inflation and a drop in consumer spending caused by the conflict in neighboring Ukraine and the impact of sanctions on Russia.