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Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Greece’s inflation rate rose in September for the first time in six months after restaurants started charging a higher sales tax.
The inflation rate, calculated using a harmonized European Union method, increased to 2.9 percent from 1.4 percent in August, the first annual increase since March, the Hellenic Statistical Authority said in a statement from Athens today. Using Greek methods, the rate was 3.1 percent.
Prime Minister George Papandreou’s government increased sales tax on restaurants by 10 percentage points to 23 percent as part of a package of measures approved in June to reduce the budget deficit and continue receiving EU-led rescue funds. The tax came into effect last month, helping push up an inflation rate that had dropped steadily since peaking at 5.7 percent in September of last year on previous sales-tax increases.
Prices for hotels, cafes and restaurants rose an annual 2.7 percent in September from 0.6 percent in August, today’s report showed. Alcohol and tobacco costs increased 6.2 percent from 1.7 percent in the previous month.
--Editors: Jeffrey Donovan, Andrew Atkinson
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