ECONOMY

Greek deflation slows in August, prices decline for 18th month

Greek consumer prices fell 0.3 percent in August, with the annual pace of deflation slowing from a 0.7 percent drop in July, data from the country’s statistics service showed on Wednesday.

August’ s reading was the slowest deflation rate since March 2013.

Greece’s EU-harmonised deflation rate also decelerated to -0.2 percent in August from -0.8 percent in July, coming in above a -0.6 percent rate expected by economists in a Reuters poll.

For years an inflation outlier in the eurozone, Greece has been in deflation mode for the last 18 months as cuts in wages and pensions as well as a severe recession that is bottoming out this year exert downward pressures.

Deflation in Greece hit its fastest pace in November 2013, with consumer prices registering a 2.9 percent year-on-year decline.

Eurozone inflation fell to just 0.3 percent in August, well below the ECB’s target of just under 2 percent and what it terms the “danger zone” of 1 percent. [Reuters]