In March, the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) rose 1.3% over the previous month, which was above the 0.5% increase recorded in February. Despite the monthly rise, annual headline inflation was unchanged at February's 2.7%. The reading was an inch above the 2.6% flash estimate released by Eurostat on 30 March and confirmed that inflation remained above the European Central Bank's (ECB) target of close to, but below 2.0% for the 16th consecutive month. In addition, annual average inflation was unchanged at February's 2.8%. Meanwhile, the core inflation index, which does not include prices for energy, rose 1.3% over the previous month (February: +0.3% mom). Annual core inflation was 1.9% in March, unchanged from February. At a country level, 9 out of the 17 Eurozone economies recorded annual inflation rates above the regional average. Estonia recorded the highest rate (4.7%), followed by Slovakia (3.9%). At the other end of the spectrum, inflation was lowest in Greece (1.4%) and Spain (1.8%). Among the other major Eurozone economies, Germany (2.3%) and France (2.6%) recorded an inflation rate below the regional average in March, while inflation was above the regional average in Italy (3.8%).
Inflation remains stable in March
April 17, 2012
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