Greek deflation steady in April, prices fall for 26th month

Greek consumer prices fell 2.1 percent year-on-year in April, with the annual pace of deflation unchanged from the previous month, data from the country’s statistics service showed on Friday.

Greece’s EU-harmonized deflation rate slowed, showing prices fell by 1.8 percent in April from a 1.9 percent decline in March.

Greek consumer prices fell by an average 1.3 percent in 2014 compared to a year earlier.

For years an inflation outlier in the euro zone, Greece has been in deflation mode for the last 26 months as cuts in wages and pensions and a deep recession exerted downward pressures.

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

The euro zone ended four months of deflation in April with consumer prices unchanged from year-ago levels, removing the threat of persistent price declines as energy costs rose.

Consumer prices in the 19 countries that share the euro were flat in April from a year earlier after a 0.1 percent decline in March, according to the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat.

The bottoming out of price declines is likely to be welcome news for the European Central Bank, which wants to keep inflation below, but close to 2 percent over the medium term.


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