Inflation in the 12 countries of the zone euro slowed for the second consecutive month in July as weak consumer demand seems to have deterred companies from passing on higher energy costs.
Details released today from the EU’s Eurostat show that consumer prices fell 0.2 percent in July, cutting the annual inflation rate for the zone to 2.3 percent from 2.4 percent in June. So for the moment, no inflation scare.
The curious number from my point of view is the stubbornly ‘high’ German rate of inflation, currently around 2%. I would have expected, given everything, inflation to be below 1% by now. Instead it’s Finland who mark the bottom: 0.2%.
The big question, of course, is which way do the numbers move now. This depends on whether the current ‘soft patch’ is simply a blip, or whether, as some are suggesting, the European recovery may have already been and gone.