Eurozone: Inflation drops to lowest level in more than three years
April 30, 2013
According to a flash estimate released by Eurostat on 30 April, the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) added 1.2% in April over the same month last year. The reading was down from March's 1.7% rate and marks the lowest reading since February 2010. Month-on-month price variations, together with a more detailed set of data, will be provided on 16 May.
Meanwhile, in March, consumer prices rose 1.2% over the previous month, which was three times the 0.4% pick-up recorded in February. Despite the increase, annual headline inflation eased from 1.9% in February to 1.7% in March. Annual average inflation inched down to 2.3% from 2.4% in February.
The core inflation index, which does not include prices for energy, rose 1.5% over the previous month (February: 0.3% month-on-month). Annual core inflation inched up from February's 1.4% to 1.6%.
At a country level, 10 out of the 17 Eurozone economies posted annual inflation rates equal or above the regional average. Estonia (3.8%) and Netherlands (3.2%) recorded the highest annual inflation rates. At the other end of the spectrum, inflation was the lowest in Greece (-0.2%) and Ireland (0.6%). Among the major economies, inflation was above the regional average in Spain (2.6%), Germany and Italy (both at 1.8%), whereas it was below the average in France (1.1%).
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants see inflation in the Euro area averaging 1.8% in 2013, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, panellists expect inflation to average 1.7%.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions