According to the Armenian Statistical Committee, they were up by an average of 13.9 percent compared with July 2020.
The government agency had recorded single-digit price increases in the first half of this year. The increased cost of mostly imported staple foodstuffs such as cooking oil and sugar was the main factor behind the first-half trend.
The Statistical Committee’s latest inflation report suggests that food inflation rose further last month due to a 53 percent surge in the aggregate price of vegetables mostly grown in Armenia. The sharp rise was clearly a consequence of last June’s unusually hot and dry weather that hit domestic agriculture hard.
As a result, the country’s overall consumer price index was up by 8.2 percent from July 2020, according to the report. The inflation rate thus remained well above the Armenian authorities’ 2021 target of 4 percent.
In a bid to curb higher-than-expected inflation, the Armenian Central Bank raised its benchmark refinancing rate on August 3 for the fifth time in less than eight months.
The bank said in June that the world economy’s ongoing recovery from the coronavirus crisis is causing the prices of key foodstuffs and commodities imported by Armenia to rise further. This “high inflationary environment” will persist in the months ahead, it said.
Government data also shows that the national average wage rose by only 5.4 percent, to almost 196,500 drams ($400) a month, in the first half of this year.