Euro Area Annual Inflation Stable at 2.7%

Euro area annual inflation was 2.7% in February 2012, unchanged compared with January. A year earlier the rate was 2.4%. Monthly inflation was 0.5% in February 2012.

In February 2012, the lowest annual rates were observed in Sweden (1.0%), Greece (1.7%) and Spain (1.9%), and the highest in Hungary (5.8%), Estonia and Poland (both 4.4%). Compared with January 2012, annual inflation fell in nine Member States, remained stable in five and rose in eleven.

The lowest 12-month averages up to February 2012 were registered in Sweden (1.3%), Slovenia (2.1%) and Malta (2.3%), and the highest in Romania (5.1%) and Estonia (5.0%).

The main components with the highest annual rates in February 2012 were transport (4.6%), housing (4.4%) and alcohol & tobacco (4.1%), while the lowest annual rates were observed for communications (-3.0%), recreation & culture (0.9%) and education (1.0%). Concerning the detailed sub-indices, fuels for transport (+0.38 percentage points), gas and heating oil (+0.14 each) had the largest upward impacts on the headline rate, while telecommunications (-0.19), cars (-0.09) and rents (-0.08) had the biggest downward impacts.

The main components with the highest monthly rates were recreation & culture (1.2%), food and transport (both 0.7%), while the lowest monthly rates were observed for communications (-0.3%) and education (0.0%). In particular, package holidays and vegetables (+0.08 percentage points each) and fuels for transport (0.07) had the largest upward impacts, while cars (-0.03) had the biggest downward impact., Eurostat
3/14/2012 3:52:19 PM