Figures published by national statistical offices show that annual consumer price inflation decreased from for December 2018 0.6% to 0.4% for January 2018 in Greece, from 1.1% to 0.9% in Italy, from 0% to -0.2% in Slovakia and from 1.2% to 1% in Spain. Inflation remained constant at 0.7% in Ireland and increased from 2% to 2.2% in the Netherlands, the largest price increase since September 2013.
Price decreases in the categories of Food and non-alcoholic beverages, Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, housing, health, communication and Hotel/Cafes/Restaurants were the main drivers of the slowdown in Greece. In Italy, a slowdown from 10.7% to 6.9% in the price of energy products was the main culprit of the decrease in inflation. In Slovakia, CPI inflation fell in the categories of Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house, transport, communication, education and hospitality. Finally, in Spain, the price of all consumer good categories fell except for Furniture and household equipment, Communications and miscellaneous goods and services.
According to CBS, the Dutch statistical office, one of the main culprits of the rise in annual CPI inflation was the increase in VAT imposed by the government, which increased the price of all categories of consumer goods.
Together with earlier data for Portugal (from 0.7% to 0.5%) and France (from 1.6% to 1.2%) these figures confirm the downward trend in inflation which is expected to accompany the slowdown in economic activity in Eurozone.
Austria, Belgium, Finland and Germany are all expected to report their estimates for this variable next week.