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Greek consumers price index slows to 0.5% in Jan, despite increases in food

Greece’s annual EU-harmonised inflation rate slowed in January, statistics authority ELSTAT announced on Thursday. Inflation was at 0.5% in January 2019, despite the fact that prices in food and non-alcoholic beverages recorded an increase of 1.9%

The data showed the headline consumer price index also decelerated to 0.4 percent year-on-year from 0.6 percent in the previous month.

Price increases recorded:

  • 1.9% in ‘Food and non-alcoholic beverages’, mainly due to price increases in bread and cereals, dairy and eggs, poultry, fresh vegetables, potatoes, fruit juices. Part of this increase was offset by a decrease mainly in prices for pork, olive oil, sausages, preserved or processed vegetables.
  • 1% in ‘Alcoholic beverages and tobacco’, mainly due to a rise in tobacco prices. Part of this increase was offset by a fall mainly in prices for alcoholic beverages (not served).
  • 0.7% in ‘Housing’, mainly due to a rise in natural gas prices.
  • 0.7% in ‘Health’, mainly due to higher prices for pharmaceuticals.
  • 5% in ‘Communications’, due mainly to price increases in telephone services.
  • 0.6% in “Hotels- Cafe- Restaurants”, due mainly to the increase of prices in restaurants- patisseries- cafes- canteens.

Price decreases:

  • 0.2% in ‘Clothing and footwear’, mainly due to a fall in prices in clothing and footwear.
  • 1.9% in ‘durables’ – Household goods and services’, mainly due to a decrease in prices of household textiles, household appliances and repairs, household items.
  • 1.1% in ‘Transports’, mainly due to a decrease in fuel and lubricant prices, maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment. Part of this decline was offset by the increase in air fares for passenger flights.
  • 1.3% in ‘Recreation – Cultural Activities’, due mainly to lower prices for audiovisual equipment – computers – repairs.
  • 0.8% in “Education”, mainly due to lower prices in secondary school fees.
  • 1.3% in ‘Other goods and services’, mainly due to a decrease in prices for other types of personal care, other personal items, vehicle insurance premiums.

At the same time, the general index decreased by 1,8% in January 2019 compared to December 2018 (mainly due to winter sales), compared with a decrease of 1,6% compared to the previous year.

Concerning harmonized inflation, it rose 0.5% in January this year, from an increase of 0.6% in December 2018 and an increase of 0.2% in January 2017. In a monthly comparison (January 2019 to December 2018), harmonized inflation a decrease of 1.3%, compared with a decrease of 1.2% compared to the previous year.

Greece had been in a protracted deflation mode since March 2013 based on its headline index, as wage and pension cuts and a multi-year recession took a heavy toll on Greek household incomes.

Deflation in the country hit its highest level in Nov. 2013 when consumer prices registered a 2.9 percent year-on-year decline. The economy emerged from deflation in June 2016.

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KEY FIGURES     JAN  DEC  NOV  OCT  SEPT  AUG
EU-harmonised   0.5  0.6  1.1  1.8  1.1   0.9
CPI y/y         0.4  0.6  1.0  1.8  1.1   1.0
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