ECONOMY

Inflation drops to four-decade low

Greece’s headline consumer inflation in January decelerated to 1.8 percent on an annual basis, its lowest rate in more than 40 years, and is likely to remain at around the same level this month, according to the Greek statistics office. National Statistics Service (NSS) data showed that inflation in January dropped to 1.8 percent year-on-year from 2 percent in December, mostly due to lower heating oil and gasoline costs. «Based on current information, inflation in February is expected to reach the same level as January, around 1.8 percent,» said NSS chief Manolis Kontopyrakis. January’s sharp drop was in line with eurozone price trends. Inflation in the 16 countries that have adopted the euro fell to 1.1 percent in January, a decade low, boosting pressure on the European Central Bank to cut interest rates as price growth is now below its target. Heating oil in Greece fell 27.2 percent on an annual basis in January along with a 20.4 percent drop in gasoline prices. However, food items such as rice and fresh fruit products shot up 13.4 and 13.8 percent respectively, data showed.