Inflation Declines in Most Euro Area Countries

Low Inflation Continues to Hamper Recovery

Jul 03, 2014, 10:00 ET from The Conference Board

NEW YORK, July 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In May 2014, annual inflation as measured by the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) decreased in all Euro Area countries compared except France, where price growth remained steady at 0.8 percent.

Germany and the Netherlands experienced the largest declines in inflation – from 1.1 to 0.6 percent, and from 0.6 to 0.1 percent, respectively. Outside the Euro Area, inflation grew modestly in Norway (from 1.5 to 1.6 percent) and Switzerland (from 0.1 to 0.2 percent), as well as in the U.S. (from 1.8 to 2.0 percent).

"In May, inflation below 1 percent continued to plague the Euro Area for the eighth consecutive month," said Elizabeth Crofoot, Senior Economist with the International Labor Comparisons program at The Conference Board. "The sharp decline of inflation in Germany, the Euro Area's largest economy, underscores the region's uncertain path to recovery. In Japan, inflation continued to accelerate in the wake of a national sales tax hike in April. At 4.5 percent, Japanese inflation in May was the highest in over 30 years."

May inflation dipped below 1 percent in all Euro Area economies compared except Austria (1.5 percent). Inflation is above 1 percent in Norway and the U.K., at 2.0 percent in the U.S., and 4.5 percent in Japan. May inflation was lower than price growth a year ago in all countries except Japan, the U.S. and Switzerland.

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:

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

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