2014

Inflation in Advanced Economies Moderately Trending Up

NEW YORK, Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Starting this month, The Conference Board will continue the International Labor Comparisons (ILC) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The international indexes of consumer prices are produced using the same concepts and methodology as those formerly used by BLS. For additional information, see the news release.

The Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) for July increased over the past 12 months for all 16 economies for which such price measures are available from The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons program.

Between July 2012 and July 2013, inflation was highest in the Netherlands (3.1 percent) and Norway (2.8 percent). By comparison, prices in the United States were up 1.8 percent. Switzerland (0.5 percent) and Denmark (0.4 percent) posted the smallest increases. In Japan, the HICP in July was 0.9 percent higher than a year ago, the second straight month of year-on-year price growth after nearly a year of negative inflation.

"Despite some concerns about massive liquidity in the global economy, inflation in advanced economies is not increasing rapidly," said Bart van Ark, Chief Economist at The Conference Board. "The main reason for this is that most advanced economies are still performing below their potential."

Governments vary in the methods and definitions used to calculate consumer price indexes and inflation rates. Calculated by The Conference Board based on European Union definitions, HICPs provide a harmonized metric for comparing inflation across countries.   

"Once we compare inflation rates across countries on the same basis, year-over-year inflation in recent months has been positive, but modest, in nearly every economy covered," said Elizabeth Crofoot, Senior Economist with the International Labor Comparison Program at The Conference Board.

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 the complete report, "International Indexes of Consumer Prices, July 2013":
www.conference-board.org/ilc.consumerprices.monthly.pdf

For more information about The Conference Board ILC program:
www.conference-board.org/ilcprogram

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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