EU annual inflation was 1.9% in March 2010, up from 1.5% in February. A year earlier the rate was 1.3%. Monthly inflation was 0.7% in March 2010.
In March 2010, the lowest annual rates were observed in Latvia (-4.0%), Ireland (-2.4%) and Lithuania (-0.4%), and the highest in Hungary (5.7%), Romania (4.2%) and Greece (3.9%). Compared with February 2010, annual inflation fell in five Member States, remained stable in two and rose in nineteen.
The lowest 12-month averages4 up to March 2010 were registered in Ireland (-2.3%), Portugal (-0.8%) and Estonia (-0.7%), and the highest in Romania (5.0%), Hungary (4.8%) and Poland (3.9%).
The main components with the highest annual rates in March 2010 were transport (6.1%), alcohol & tobacco (4.0%), miscellaneous goods and services as well as education (both 1.8%), while the lowest annual rates were observed for food (-0.6%), communications (-0.3%) and clothing (-0.1%). Concerning the detailed sub-indices, fuels for transport (+0.76 percentage points), heating oil (+0.19) and tobacco (+0.10) had the largest upward impacts on the headline rate, while gas (-0.30) and cars (-0.10) had the biggest downward impacts.
The main components with the highest monthly rates were clothing (7.6%), transport (1.5%), housing and household equipment (both 0.5%), while the lowest were health and education (both 0.0%), alcohol & tobacco, communications, recreation & culture and hotels & restaurants (all 0.1%). In particular, garments (+0.35 percentage points), fuels for transport (+0.16) and footwear (+0.06) had the largest upward impacts, while restaurants & cafés and rents (-0.05 each) and meat (-0.04) had the biggest downward impacts.