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Economy in Brief

HICP Is Behaving Despite Month's Rise
by Robert Brusca  March 16, 2009

Inflation in the Area rose in February but at 1.2% the Yr/yr pace of inflation remained well in check. Core inflation at 1.7% is confirming that tepid reading. Three-month inflation and service sector inflation ticked up over three-months compared to their respective 6-month pace. Core inflation trends in Germany Italy and Spain seem to be well contained as well, contributing to the notion that inflation in the zone is truly under control. Headline inflation did rise on a broad front in February but the core pace remains solid and low and the annual numbers are quite well behaved. The report should be quite acceptable to the ECB.

Trends in HICP
  % mo/mo % Saar
  Feb-09 Jan-09 Dec-08 3-Mo 6-Mo 12-Mo Yr Ago
EMU 0.3% -0.2% -0.4% -0.9% -1.0% 1.2% 3.3%
Core 0.2% -0.2% 0.1% 0.6% 1.1% 1.7% 2.4%
Goods 0.3% -1.2% -0.8% -6.3% -3.2% 0.3% 3.8%
Services 0.5% -0.4% 0.8% 3.9% 0.6% 2.4% 2.5%
HICP              
Germany 0.3% 0.0% -0.3% 0.0% -0.7% 1.0% 3.0%
France 0.3% -0.1% -0.3% -0.3% -1.0% 1.0% 3.2%
Italy 0.4% -0.6% 0.0% -0.7% -0.7% 1.6% 3.1%
Spain 0.2% -0.4% -0.5% -2.4% -2.7% 0.7% 4.4%
Core: xFE&A              
Germany 0.4% -0.1% 0.1% 1.5% 0.8% 1.2% 2.2%
Italy 0.5% -0.6% 0.2% 0.4% 1.1% 2.2% 2.4%
Spain -0.2% -0.2% 0.0% -1.3% -0.1% 1.6% 3.3%
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