In March 2012, the lowest annual rates were observed in Sweden (1.1%), Greece (1.4%) and Bulgaria (1.7%), and the highest in Hungary (5.5%), Estonia (4.7%) and the Czech Republic (4.2%). Compared with February 2012, annual inflation fell in fourteen Member States, remained stable in four and rose in eight.
The lowest 12-month averages up to March 2012 were registered in Sweden (1.3%), Ireland (1.4%) and Slovenia (2.1%), and the highest in Estonia (4.9%), Romania (4.6%) and Hungary (4.3%).
The main components with the highest annual rates in March 2012 were transport (4.6%), alcohol & tobacco (4.4%) and housing (4.0%), while the lowest annual rates were observed for communications (-2.8%), recreation & culture (0.7%) and education (0.9%). Concerning the detailed sub-indices, fuels for transport (+0.36 percentage points), gas (+0.14) and heating oil (+0.08) had the largest upward impacts on the headline rate, while telecommunications (-0.18), rents (-0.08) and cars (-0.07) had the biggest downward impacts.
The main components with the highest monthly rates were clothing (16.0%), transport (1.3%) and household equipment (0.7%), while the lowest monthly rates were observed for recreation & culture (-0.4%), health, communications and education (0.0% each). In particular, garments (+0.74 percentage points), footwear (+0.15) and fuels for transport (+0.10) had the largest upward impacts, while restaurants & cafés (-0.09), rents (-0.08) and meat (-0.05) had the biggest downward impacts.