ECONOMY

Greek prices drop for 27th month

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

Greece’s European Union-harmonized deflation rate slowed, showing prices fell by 1.4 percent in May from a 1.8 percent decline in April.

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

For years an inflation outlier in the eurozone, Greece has been in deflation mode for the last 27 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 eurozone returned to inflation in May with a higher-than-expected increase in consumer prices after five months of falls and stagnation, due to rising food costs and the waning impact of cheap energy.

Consumer prices in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 0.3 percent year-on-year last month, beating market expectations of a 0.2 percent increase, according to the EU statistics office Eurostat.

[Reuters]