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Economy in Brief

Inflation as Measured by Harmonized Indexes of Consumer Prices (HICP) Rises in the United Kingdom, France and SpainĀ 
by Louise Curley July 13, 2004

Inflation in the United Kingdom, as measured by the year-to-year percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index has risen in the past three months and in June was 1.6%, the highest level since March,2003.

Prior to December 10, 2003, inflation in the U.K. was measured by year-to-year changes in the Retail Price Index. The MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) tracked the Retail Price Index, less mortgage interest (RPIX) as its inflation measure. The target at that time was 2.3%. The change to the Consumer Price Index as the preferred measure of inflation facilitates comparisons with inflation in the Euro Zone countries as this index is based on the same methodology and has the same base year as the Harmonized Indexes of Consumer Price Indexes (HICP) of Euro Zone countries.

In addition to the release of data on inflation in the U.K., inflation data were also released today for Spain and France. In both countries, like the U. K. inflation is rising. Until 2000, inflation was generally higher in the U.K. than in France, but since then has been lower. Inflation in Spain continues to be higher than both the U.K. and France.

Harmonized Indexes of Consumer Prices (1996=100) Jun 04 May 04 Jun  03 M/M % Y/Y %  2003 % 2002 %  2001 %
France 113.5 113.4 110.5 0.09 2.71 2.17 1.94 1.78
Spain 124.8 124.6 120.6 0.16 3.48 3.01 2.87 3.65
United Kingdom 111.3 111.4 109.6 -0.09 1.55 1.36 1.27 1.22
Addendum:                
UK Retail Price Index  (1997=100) 186.8 186.5 181.3 0.16 3.03 2.91 1.63 1.82
UK RPIX excl Mortgage Interest  184.2 184.3 180.0 -0.05 2.33 2.81 2.21 2.13
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