Eurozone: Inflation picks up for first time in eight months
May 31, 2013
According to a flash estimate released by Eurostat on 31 May, the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) added 1.4% in May over the same month last year. The reading was up from April's 1.2% rate and marks the first pick-up in inflation in the last eight months. Month-on-month price variations, together with a more detailed set of data, will be provided on 14 June.
Meanwhile, in April, consumer prices fell 0.1% over the previous month, which contrasted the 0.4% increase recorded in March. As a result, annual headline inflation eased from 1.7% in March to 1.2% in April. Annual average inflation inched down to 2.2% from 2.3% in March.
The core inflation index, which does not include prices for energy, was flat over the previous month (March: +1.5% month-on-month). Annual core inflation fell from March's 1.6% to 1.1%.
At a country level, 9 out of the 17 Eurozone economies posted annual inflation rates equal or above the regional average. Estonia (3.4%) and the Netherlands (2.8%) recorded the highest annual inflation rates. At the other end of the spectrum, inflation was the lowest in Greece (-0.6%) and Cyprus (0.1%). Among the major economies, inflation was above the regional average in Spain (1.5%) and Italy (1.3%), whereas it was below the average in Germany (1.1%) and France (0.8%).
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