European Inflation: A Non-Issue?

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.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".