Inflation Remains Mixed Across Euro Area, Declines in U.S. and Japan

NEW YORK, July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In June 2014, annual inflation as measured by the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) declined in the U.S. and Japan, but was mixed across Euro Area countries compared.

Although inflation remained steady in the Euro Area as a whole, price growth slowed in Belgium (from 0.8 to 0.7 percent), France (from 0.8 to 0.6 percent), Italy (from 0.4 to 0.2 percent) and Spain (from 0.2 to 0.0 percent), while it accelerated in Germany (from 0.6 to 1.0 percent), Austria (from 1.5 to 1.7 percent) and the Netherlands (from 0.1 to 0.3 percent). Outside the Eurozone, Sweden (0.5 percent), the United Kingdom (1.9 percent), Norway (1.8 percent) and Denmark (0.4 percent) also experienced rising prices. Switzerland experienced the largest decline in inflation (from 0.2 to -0.1 percent), returning to deflationary territory after two months of positive price growth.

"In June, inflation in the Euro Area as a whole held steady at its lowest level (0.5 percent) since the Great Recession," said Elizabeth Crofoot, Senior Economist with the International Labor Comparisons program at The Conference Board. "But the broad range of inflation rates among member states—from negative or zero to nearly two percent—highlights the difficulty in setting a common monetary policy that will have a common impact on prices. However in Japan, the slight dip in inflation (from 4.5 to 4.4 percent), the first since January, suggests that the combined impact of recent monetary expansion and an increased sales tax may be easing."

June inflation remains below 1 percent in all Euro Area countries compared, except Austria (1.7 percent) and Germany (1.0 percent). Inflation is also above 1 percent in Japan (4.4 percent), the U.S. (1.9 percent) and Norway (1.8 percent). June inflation was lower than price growth a year ago in all countries compared except Japan, the U.S., and Sweden.

About HICP and International Labor Comparisons (ILC) 
Harmonized Indexes of Consumer Prices are measures of consumer price inflation that have been standardized across 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

NOTE: Beginning October 1, The Conference Board will no longer issue monthly International Labor Comparisons (ILC) reports on consumer prices and employment. This step will allow The Conference Board to dedicate more resources to continuing and strengthening the annual ILC reports on labor compensation, productivity and competitiveness. The underlying data tables on monthly consumer prices and employment will continue to be published on The Conference Board website through December 2014 (see schedule through December). Beginning January 1, 2015, related data series will be available via the Business Cycle Indicators program on a subscription basis. Historical monthly and annual datasets will remain publicly available on The Conference Board website.

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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