ECONOMY

Greek deflation picks up in October, prices drop for 20th month

Greek consumer prices fell 1.7 percent in October, with the annual pace of deflation accelerating from a 0.8 percent drop in September, data from the country’s statistics service showed on Monday.

October’s reading was at the highest pace since December 2013, when the annual pace of deflation also hit 1.7 percent.

Greece’s EU-harmonised deflation rate also picked up to a 1.8 percent fall in prices in October from a 1.1 percent drop in September, steeper than a 1 percent decline expected by economists in a Reuters poll.

For years an inflation outlier in the euro zone, Greece has been in deflation mode for the last 20 months as cuts in wages and pensions and a deep recession exert downward pressures.

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

Inflation in the 18 countries sharing the euro edged up slightly in October to 0.4 percent, well below the ECB’s target of just under 2 percent.

[Reuters]