BUSINESS

Greek consumer prices fall 0.4 percent year-on-year in April, deflation persists

TAGS: Economy

Greece's annual EU-harmonized inflation rate stayed negative in April for the second month in a row after a positive reading in February, statistics service data showed on Tuesday.

The reading in April was -0.4 percent, easing from -0.7 percent in March. Consumer prices were led lower by housing costs, durable goods, foods and non-alcoholic beverages, apparel and footwear.

Economists polled by Reuters were expecting a -0.6 percent EU-harmonized inflation rate in April.

The data also showed the headline consumer price index fell 1.3 percent year-on-year, with the annual pace of deflation easing from -1.5 percent in March.

For years an inflation outlier in the euro zone, Greece has been in deflation mode for the last two and a half years as wage and pension cuts and a protracted recession took a heavy toll on Greek household income.

Deflation in Greece, which signed up to its first international bailout in 2010, hit its highest level in November 2013, when consumer prices registered a 2.9 percent year-on-year decline.

Euro zone consumer prices halted their slide in March, giving hope to the European Central Bank that its efforts to boost stubbornly low inflation will pay off once energy prices stabilize.

Inflation was zero year-on-year, with the European Union's statistics agency revising up its earlier estimate of a 0.1 percent decline.

[Reuters]

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