EU annual inflation was 1.3% in March 2009, down from 1.8% in February. A year earlier the rate was 3.8%. Monthly inflation was 0.3% in March 2009.
In March 2009, the lowest annual rates were observed in Ireland (-0.7%), Portugal (-0.6%) and Luxembourg (-0.3%), and the highest in Latvia (7.9%), Lithuania (7.4%) and Romania (6.7%). Compared with February 2009, annual inflation fell in twenty-two Member States and rose in four. The lowest 12-month averages up to March 2009 were registered in Portugal (1.9%), Germany and the Netherlands (both 2.2%), and the highest in Latvia (13.4%), Lithuania (10.5%) and Bulgaria (10.1%).
The main components with the highest annual rates in March 2009 were alcohol & tobacco (3.4%), "miscellaneous" (2.3%) and hotels & restaurants (2.2%), while the lowest annual rates were observed for transport (-4.3%), communications (-1.8%) and recreation & culture (0.0%). Concerning the detailed sub-indices, gas (+0.19 percentage points), restaurants & cafés (+0.17) and electricity (+0.13) had the largest upward impacts on the headline rate, while fuels for transport (-0.97) and heating oil (-0.35) had the biggest downward impacts.
The main components with the highest monthly rates were clothing (7.5%) and household equipment (0.5%), while the lowest were recreation & culture (-0.4%), housing and transport (both -0.3%). In particular, garments (+0.38 percentage points) and footwear (+0.07) had the largest upward impacts, while fuels for transport (-0.07) and heating oil (-0.05) had the biggest downward impacts.