April 10, 2017 / 9:19 AM / 4 months ago

Greek consumer prices rise 1.7 pct in March, led by transport, housing costs

    ATHENS, April 10 (Reuters) - Greece's annual EU-harmonised
inflation rate accelerated in March, statistics service data
showed on Monday, with the reading coming in slightly above
market expectations.
    The reading in March was 1.7 percent from 1.4 percent in
February. Consumer prices were led higher by housing,
transportation costs, alcoholic beverages and tobacco.
    Economists polled by Reuters were forecasting a 1.5 percent
print.
    The data also showed the headline consumer price index
picked up to 1.7 percent year-on-year, from 1.3 percent in the
previous month and 1.2 in January, when it emerged from a
protracted deflation trend.
    For years an inflation outlier in the euro zone, Greece had
been in a protracted deflation mode since March 2013 based on
its headline index, as wage and pension cuts and a multi-year
recession took a heavy toll on Greek household incomes.
    Deflation in Greece, which signed up to its first
international bailout in 2010, hit its highest level in November
2013, when consumer prices registered a 2.9 percent year-on-year
decline.
    Euro zone annual inflation slowed in March by far more than
the market had expected, driven down mostly by a deceleration of
energy price rises, based on estimates from the European Union
statistics office.
    Inflation in the 19 countries sharing the euro was 1.5
percent year-on-year, Eurostat estimated, down from a four-year
high of 2.0 percent recorded in February.                
    
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KEY FIGURES    MARCH   FEB   JAN   DEC   NOV   OCT    SEPT
EU-harmonised   1.7    1.4   1.5   0.3   -0.2  +0.6   -0.1
CPI y/y         1.7    1.3   1.2   0.0   -0.9  -0.5   -1.0
---------------------------------------------------------------
source: ELSTAT
    

 (Reporting by George Georgiopoulos)
  

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