Eurozone: More complete data confirms second consecutive annual fall in consumer prices
March 17, 2015
More complete data published by Eurostat on 17 March showed that the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) in February jumped 0.6% over the previous month, which contrasted the 1.6% drop recorded in January. In annual terms, harmonized consumer prices fell 0.3% in February, which confirmed the preliminary estimate and marked a third consecutive month in negative territory, sparking fears that the Euro area could fall into a sustained period of falling prices.
More complete data also showed that 10 of the 19 Eurozone economies posted annual inflation rates equal to or below the regional average. Greece (-1.9%) Lithuania (-1.5) and Spain (-1.2%) recorded the lowest annual inflation rates. At the other end of the spectrum, Malta (+0.6%) and Austria (+0.5%) showed the highest year-on-year increases in harmonized consumer prices. Among the remaining major economies in the Eurozone, in Germany consumer prices fell 0.1% annually in February and in France prices dropped 0.3% over the same month last year. In Italy, harmonized inflation rose a mild 0.1% in February.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist