Eurozone: Inflation stable in February
February 28, 2014
According to the flash estimate Eurostat released on 28 February, the harmonized index of consumer prices (HICP) added 0.8% over the same month last year in February. The reading was in line with the 0.8% increase recorded in January and came in above market expectations of a 0.7% increase. Month-on-month price variations and a more detailed set of data will be provided on 17 March.
In January, consumer prices dropped 1.1% over the previous month, which contrasted the 0.4% increase recorded in December. The reading marked the biggest monthly fall on record and the third drop in the last four months. Annual headline inflation was stable at December's 0.8%. Annual average inflation inched down from 1.4% in December to 1.3% in January.
The core inflation index, which does not include prices for energy, dropped 1.4% over the previous month (December: +0.2% month-on-month). Annual core inflation inched up from 0.9% in December to 1.0% in January.
At a country level, 10 of the 17 Eurozone economies posted annual inflation rates equal to or above the regional average. Finland (1.9%) and Estonia (1.6%) recorded the highest annual inflation rates. At the other end of the spectrum, Cyprus and Greece experienced year-on-year decreases in harmonized consumer prices (-1.6% and -1.4% respectively). Among the major economies in the Eurozone, inflation was above the regional average in Germany (1.2%), whereas it was in line with average in France (0.8%) and below average in Italy (0.6%) and Spain (0.3%).
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants see inflation in the Euro area averaging 1.1% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2015, panelists expect inflation to average 1.4%.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions