Inflation eases but pickup on cards

Greece’s headline consumer price inflation eased marginally in September but is expected to pick up sharply this month due to higher fuel prices, the National Statistical Service (NSS) said yesterday. Inflation decelerated last month to an annual pace of 0.70 percent from 0.80 percent in August, the NSS said in a statement. A year earlier the figure stood at 4.6 percent. A breakdown of figures showed that a drop in housing costs and transportation expenses more than offset price hikes in food, alcoholic drinks and clothing. In the 16-member eurozone, consumer prices fell 0.3 percent year-on-year in September. Greece’s harmonized index of consumer prices, or HICP, rose 0.7 percent on an annual basis in September, slowing from 1 percent growth in August. NSS chief Manolis Kontopyrakis said that current data for October point to a «fairly high increase in inflation due to a large price drop in October last year in petrol and heating oil prices, which are not expected to be repeated again this year.» The International Monetary Fund said in its global outlook Greece’s harmonized inflation figure is seen at 1.1 percent this year before picking up to 1.7 percent in 2010.