Consumer Price Growth Slows Further in Advanced Economies, Approaching Deflationary Boundary in Many

NEW YORK, April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In February, annual inflation as measured by the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) declined in 12 of the 16 economies compared.

The largest declines occurred in the United States (from 1.3 to 0.8 percent) and Denmark (from 0.8 to 0.3 percent), followed by the Netherlands (from 0.8 to 0.4 percent) and Switzerland (from 0.2 to –0.2 percent). Inflation rose by 0.3 percentage points in both France (from 0.8 to 1.1 percent) and Japan (from 1.6 to 1.9 percent), and was unchanged in Austria and the United Kingdom.

"While the Euro Area has been nearing the deflationary boundary over the past several months, countries outside the monetary union are not spared that same concern," said Elizabeth Crofoot, Senior Economist with the International Labor Comparisons program at The Conference Board. "Price growth is nearly zero in Denmark and Sweden, and has once again reached deflationary territory in Switzerland, last seen in May 2013.  In contrast, after years of having the lowest inflation rate, Japan—together with Norway—is experiencing the highest inflation among the countries compared."

Japan and Norway are also the only countries where inflation is higher than a year ago (February 2013). Annual HICP-based price increases now stand at 1.0 percent or lower in 11 of the 16 economies and below 2.0 percent in all 16.

About HICP and International Labor Comparisons (ILC)

Harmonized Indexes of Consumer Prices are measures of consumer price inflation that have been standardized across multiple countries based on European Union definitions. A monthly report compiles HICP trends for 16 economies, alongside conventional Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) as measured by national governments. The Conference Board adjusts official HICP and CPI metrics to a common base year to facilitate comparison with the United States.   

The data is published as part of The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons program. Formerly a division of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ILC is dedicated to producing economic indicators that optimize research, comparison, and planning in a global context.

For more information about The Conference Board ILC program:

www.conference-board.org/ilcprogram

For the associated report, tables, and technical notes, see

www.conference-board.org/ilcprogram/consumerpricesmonthly 

About The Conference Board

The Conference Board is an independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.  www.conference-board.org.

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