May 8, 2020 / 9:25 AM / 21 days ago

Greek EU-harmonized inflation turns negative in April

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece’s annual EU-harmonised inflation fell to -0.9% in April from 0.2% in March, statistics service ELSTAT data showed on Friday.

Government lockdown in response to the coronavirus has triggered a slowdown in the country’s economic activity and consumer spending. Higher food prices were more than offset by lower prices in housing, transportation and communications.

The data also showed headline consumer price inflation down to -1.4% from 0.0% in the previous month.

During the debt crisis, Greece had been in a deflation mode based on its headline index, as wage and pension cuts and a multi-year recession took a heavy toll on household incomes.

Deflation in the country hit its highest level in Nov. 2013 when consumer prices registered a 2.9 percent year-on-year decline. The economy emerged from deflation in June 2016.

Euro zone inflation fell to an annual rate of 0.4% in April as the coronavirus pandemic brought economic activity across the bloc almost to a halt.

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou, Μετάφραση Αίθουσα Σύνταξης Αθηνών

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