ECONOMY

Prices rise but upward pressure low

Greece’s headline consumer price inflation picked up to an annual pace of 0.8 percent in August, from 0.6 percent in July, and is expected to remain at current levels in September, according to the National Statistical Service (NSS). NSS said prices of alcoholic drinks rose 6.3 percent year-on-year and education fees advanced 4.7 percent, offsetting drops of 4.9 and 3.1 percent in accommodation and transport costs respectively. «Based on current data, headline inflation in September is expected to be at August’s level, around 0.8 percent,» said NSS chief Manolis Kontopyrakis in a statement. For the eight-month period ending in August, the consumer price index rose 1.01 percent versus 4.59 percent last year. Economists said they expect inflation to move slightly higher by the end of the year, describing inflationary pressures as «low» due to the decline of domestic demand in the slowing economy. Greece’s EU harmonized inflation, an indicator of consumer prices used by the European Central Bank to make comparisons across all EU countries, accelerated to 1.0 percent from 0.7 percent in July. Meanwhile in the eurozone, consumer prices fell 0.2 percent year-on-year in August, the third straight monthly decline, with economists expecting inflation to start rising again in the coming months.