Harmonised inflation was down 0.7 per cent in January year-on-year on lower energy costs but the price food and non-alcoholic beverages was up 2.8 per cent on the previous year, statistical services figures revealed.
Also up was the price of alcohol and tobacco by 3.7 per cent, clothing and footwear 1 per cent, health 0.2 per cent, communication 1.3 per cent, and restaurants and hotels 1.6 per cent. Goods and services that had dropped in price included housing water electricity and gas by 3.6 per cent, furnishings 0.5 per cent, transport 8.5 per cent and education 1.6 per cent.
Last month consumer groups said businesses were showing complete disrespect and contempt for consumers by not lowering their prices in line with an approximate 20 per cent fall in the cost of fuel since last year.
The head of the Consumers Association Fryni Michael, in a letter to the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEVE), the Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEB), and the small shopkeepers association (POVEK), she called on them to pressure their members to drop their prices.
In her letter, Michael said the price of basic consumer goods as well as other products and services in Cyprus remained at the same levels as June 2014, despite plunging global oil prices and a fall in the prices of consumer goods in other EU countries.
Michael said absence of a knock-on effect on consumer prices showed lack of respect, and contempt by businesses towards consumers. “Despite the fact that fuel and electricity prices have been reduced which are important elements of operating costs of many businesses, prices of products and services in Cyprus were not reduced,” Michael said in her letter.