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German Inflation Falls

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German Inflation Falls

There are additional deflationary pressures mounting in Europe as further countries report softness in their Consumer Price Indices (CPI).

Germany, the Eurozones largest economy has released it’s inflation data for the month of March. The month on month CPI fell back from 0.5% to 0.3% this dragged on the year on year figure which retreated from 1.2% to 1.0%. The Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), the metric which directly feeds into the Eurozone inflation data, was also somewhat softer. Month on month this fell from 0.5% to 0.3% with the year on year number falling from 1.0% to 0.9%.

This bad news for Eurozone inflation was compensated for in a small way by better readings from the Spanish economy. Although still largely negative Spain’s CPI rose slightly in March to -0.1% year on year from -0.2%. Month on month this figure picked up from 0.0% to 0.2%. Spain also reported it’s HICP data today however this too was mixed. Month on month the HICP jumped from a reading of -0.1% last month to 1.6% in March, this was a significant swing but not enough to improve the year on year reading which came in at -0.2%.

The International Monetary Fund is meeting this weekend and no doubt the Eurozone deflationary concerns will be among the talking points. US Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, unusually sounded a note of caution to Europe ahead of this IMF meeting, “We think that the risk of low demand and the risk of deflation is something that they need to be very alert to, and they need to take a little more (action), not a little less”. Europe is a significant trading partner for the US and problems in the Eurozone will effect the US recovery. US authorities are evidently growing frustrated at the ECB’s reluctance to tackle the inflation situation.

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