ECONOMY

Greek deflation picks up in December, prices fall for 22nd month

Greek consumer prices fell 2.6 percent in December, with the annual pace of deflation accelerating from a 1.2 percent drop in November, data from the country’s statistics service showed on Tuesday.

Greece’s EU-harmonized deflation rate also picked up, showing a 2.5 percent fall in December from a 1.2 percent drop in November.

For last year as a whole, Greece’s consumer prices fell by an average 1.3 percent compared to 2013.

For years an inflation outlier in the eurozone, Greece has been in deflation mode for the last 22 months as cuts in wages and pensions and a deep recession exerted downward pressures.

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

Eurozone inflation turned negative in December for the first time since October 2009, with cheap oil driving a bigger than expected decline that may prompt the European Central Bank to start printing money.

[Reuters]