Greek consumer prices fall 0.2 percent year-on-year in May, deflation slows


Greece's annual EU-harmonized inflation rate stayed negative in May for the third month in a row after a positive reading in February, statistics service data showed on Thursday.

The reading in May was -0.2 percent, easing from -0.4 percent in April. Consumer prices were led lower by housing costs, durable goods and transport costs.

The data also showed the headline consumer price index fell 0.9 percent year-on-year, with the annual pace of deflation easing from -1.3 percent in April.

For years an inflation outlier in the euro zone, Greece has been in deflation mode since March 2013 based on its headline index, as wage and pension cuts and a protracted recession took a heavy toll on Greek household income.

Deflation in Greece, which signed up to its first international bailout in 2010, hit its highest level in November 2013, when consumer prices registered a 2.9 percent year-on-year decline.

The euro zone remained in deflation for a second straight month in May, although prices fell by less than in April principally due to a slowdown in the decline of energy prices, according to a first estimate from the EU's statistics agency. [Reuters]