Rocketing heating costs fuels inflation in Lithuania

VILNIUS, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- A 34 percent increase in the energy fee for district heating services coupled with the rise in the price of solid fuel and food pushed inflation up in Lithuania in September, the Baltic News Service (BNS) reported on Thursday.

According to Statistics Lithuania, annual inflation in the country reached 22.4 percent in August, the highest level in 26 years. The projected rate for September is 22.5 percent, the highest level since the same month of 1996.

The country's National Energy Regulatory Council (VERT) said that the average heating bill excluding value-added tax (VAT) in September was 11.02 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which was 33.6 percent more than in August and 2.4 times more than in September 2021.

High electricity bills are forcing several restaurants and cafes across the country to close their doors. Liutauras Ceprackas, head of the Association of Caterers, told local media that electricity alone now cost twice or three times more than rent.

Tadas Povilauskas, an economist at SEB Bankas, believes that prices will continue to rise as businesses will continue to pass the rising energy costs on to consumers.

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