Inflation in the euro area
From Statistics Explained
- Data from March 2014. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.
Main statistical findings
Euro area annual inflation was 0.5 % in March 2014, down from 0.7 % in February. A year earlier the rate was 1.7 %. The flash estimate for March, published on 31 March 2014, was 0.5 %. Further information on the accuracy of the flash estimates can be found in the article 'Inflation – methodology of the euro area flash estimate'.
Looking at the main components of the euro area inflation, 'Services' (1.1 %, compared to 1.3 % in February) had the highest annual rate in March, followed by 'Food, alcohol & tobacco' (1.0 %, compared to 1.5 % in February), 'Non-energy industrial goods' (0.2 %, compared to 0.4 % in February), and 'Energy' (-2.1 %, compared to -2.3 % in February).
Flash estimate and full HICP data
The euro area inflation flash estimate is issued at the end of each reference month or shortly after. When the complete set of harmonised indices of consumer prices (HICP) is released around the middle of each month following the reference month, estimated data are replaced by actual data derived from the Member States figures. Further information on the accuracy of the flash estimates can be found in the article 'Inflation – methodology of the euro area flash estimate'.
Main components of inflation
Each of the main components contributes in varying degree to the headline inflation in the euro area. In terms of weight, set at 1000 for the all-items HICP, services is the largest component, accounting for around 42.8 % of individual consumption expenditure in the euro area. It is followed by non-energy industrial goods with around 26.7 %.
Food, alcohol & tobacco and energy account for 19.8 % and 10.8 %, respectively. Together, they comprise less than one third of euro area expenditure, but they can have significant impacts on the headline inflation as their levels tend to fluctuate significantly more than the other components.
The main components and their relative weights for 2014 are presented in Figure 3 and Table 2, respectively.
The breakdown of the HICP into four main components does not follow the standard COICOP classification, but groups items from different expenditure classes into four broad product categories. For further details on the composition/sub-indices, please see Eurostat's COICOP/HICP classification.
Further Eurostat information
- News Release 113/2001 – First release of the Flash estimates
- News release 137/2012 – First release of the Flash estimate main components
- Harmonised indices of consumer prices (HICP) (prc_hicp), see a predefined selection under these links:
- HICP (2005 = 100) - monthly data (annual rate of change) (prc_hicp_manr)
- HICP (2005 = 100) - monthly data (index) (prc_hicp_midx)
- HICP (2005 = 100) - monthly data (monthly rate of change) (prc_hicp_mmor)
Methodology / Metadata
- Harmonised indices of consumer prices (ESMS metadata file - prc_hicp_esms)