Eurozone: Inflation moderates in May
May 31, 2012
According to a flash estimate released by Eurostat on 31 May, consumer prices in May rose 2.4% over the same month last year, based on the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP). The reading was down from April's 2.6% and marked the 18th consecutive month in which inflation has remained above the European Central Bank's (ECB) target of close to, but below 2.0%. Month-on-month price variations, together with a more detailed set of data, will be provided on 14 June. According to detailed figures for April, consumer prices rose 0.5% over the previous month, which was down from the 1.3% increase recorded in March. As a consequence, annual headline inflation inched down from 2.7% in March to 2.6% in April. The core inflation index, which does not include prices for energy, rose 0.4% over the previous month (March: +1.3% mom). Annual core inflation was 1.9% in April, unchanged from the previous month. At a country level, 11 out of 17 Eurozone economies recorded annual inflation rates above the regional average. Estonia recorded the highest annual inflation rate (4.3%), followed by Malta (3.8%). At the other end of the spectrum, inflation was lowest in Greece (1.5%) and Ireland (1.9%). Among the other major Eurozone economies, Germany (2.2%) and France (2.4%) recorded an inflation rate below the regional average in April, while inflation was above the regional average in Italy (3.7%).
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions