Euro area annual inflation down to 1.6% EU down to 2.2%

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Euro area annual inflationEuro area annual inflation was 1.6% in December 2008, down from 2.1% in November. A year earlier the rate was 3.1%. Monthly inflation was -0.1% in December 2008.

EU annual inflation was 2.2% in December 2008, down from 2.8% in November. A year earlier the rate was 3.2%. Monthly inflation was -0.1% in December 2008.

Inflation in the EU Member States

In December 2008, the lowest annual rates were observed in Luxembourg (0.7%), Portugal (0.8%) and Germany (1.1%), and the highest in Latvia (10.4%), Lithuania (8.5%) and Estonia (7.5%), Malta stood at 5.0%. Compared with November 2008, annual inflation fell in twenty-four Member States and rose in one.

The lowest 12-month averages up to December 2008 were registered in the Netherlands (2.2%), Portugal (2.7%) and Germany (2.8%), and the highest in Latvia (15.3%), Bulgaria (12.0%) and Lithuania (11.1%), Malta stood at 4.7%.

Euro area

The main components with the highest annual rates in December 2008 were housing (3.6%), alcohol & tobacco (3.5%) and hotels & restaurants (3.3%), while the lowest annual rates were observed for transport (-2.5%), communications (-1.8%) and recreation & culture (0.3%). Concerning the detailed sub-indices, gas (+0.28 percentage points), restaurants & cafés (+0.16), bread & cereals and electricity (+0.11 each) had the largest upward impacts on the headline rate, while fuels for transport (-0.81), heating oil (-0.20) and telecommunications (-0.12) had the biggest downward impacts.

The main components with the highest monthly rates were recreation & culture (2.0%), hotels & restaurants (1.0%) and food (0.2%), and the lowest were transport (-1.9%), clothing (-0.8%) and housing (-0.7%). In particular, package holidays (+0.20 percentage points) and accommodation services (+0.08) had the largest upward impacts, while fuels for transport (-0.34) and heating oil (-0.14) had the biggest downward impacts.

These figures come from Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities.

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