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EU ANNUAL INFLATION STAYS AT RECORD LOW

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Seven Member States under 2% ...
Seven Member States under 2%

EU annual inflation remained at a record low of 2.5% in July, the same as in June, with seven member states under 2%, according to todays data from Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities in Luxembourg.

The June and July rates are the lowest since Eurostat began compiling these figures in 1983 for what are now the present 15 member states. With the exception of earlier months this year, the previous low was 2.9% in January 1987. Inflation was 2.8% last January and 2.7% from February to May. In July last year inflation was 3.1%.

The data are based on Eurostat's current Consumer Price Index (CPI). See also the Interim Indices of Consumer Prices attached.

In July annual inflation was below the EU average in all but the four southern member states. Lowest rate was Finland's 0.5%, followed by Sweden's 0.6%. Luxembourg, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Belgium were all under 2%. Highest by far was Greece's 8.6%.

The EU figure compares with 3% the USA and 0.6% in Japan.

JULY RATES IN MEMBER STATES, in ascending order of inflation, with corresponding figures for a year earlier

July96/ July95/

July95 July94

Finland 0.5% 0.8%

Sweden 0.6% 2.9%

Luxembourg 1.3% 1.9%

Ireland 1.4%* 2.5%*

Germany 1.6% 1.8%

Austria 1.9%p 2.2%

Belgium 1.9% 1.2%

Netherlands 2.1% 1.8%

United Kingdom 2.2% 3.5%

Denmark 2.3% 1.8%

France 2.3% 1.5%

Italy 3.6%p 5.5%

Spain 3.7% 4.7%

Portugal 3.9% 3.7%

Greece 8.6% 8.9%

EU15 2.5%p 3.1%

-- The index for Ireland is quarterly; May 96/95 and August 95/94 p = provisional

Corresponding rates in some non-EU countries were: Japan +0.6% (+0.1%). Switzerland +0.7% (+2.0%). Canada +1.2% (+2.5%). Norway +1.3% (+2.4%). Iceland +2.4% (+1.4%) and the USA +3.0% (+2.8%).

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