Eurozone: Inflation moderates further at the outset of 2013
February 1, 2013
According to a flash estimate released by Eurostat on 1 February, the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) added 2.0% in January over the same month last year. The reading was down from December's 2.2% increase and marks the lowest reading since November 2010. Month-on-month price variations, together with a more detailed set of data, will be provided on 28 February.
In December, consumer prices rose 0.4% over the previous month, which contrasted the 0.2% drop recorded in November. As a result of the monthly drop, annual headline inflation was unchanged at November's 2.2%. In the full-year 2012, inflation averaged 2.5%, which was down from the 2.7% recorded in 2011 and in line with FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists' expectations.
The core inflation index, which does not include prices for energy, rose 0.5% over the previous month (November: -0.1% month-on-month). However, annual core inflation was unchanged at November's 1.6%.
At a country level, 10 out of the 17 Eurozone economies posted annual inflation rates equal or above the regional average. Estonia (3.6%) and Finland (3.5%) recorded the highest annual inflation rates. At the other end of the spectrum, inflation was lowest in Greece (0.3%), Cyprus and France (1.5%). Among the major Eurozone economies, inflation was above the regional average in Italy (2.6%) and Spain (3.0%), whereas it was below it in Germany (2.0%).
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions