OECD annual inflation up to 2.3 % in March 2019, driven by energy prices

Annual inflation in the OECD area picked up to 2.3 % in March 2019, compared with 2.1 % in February. Energy prices increased by 2.7 % following a fall of (minus) 0.1 % in February while food price inflation picked up slightly to 2.4 %, compared with 2.3 % in February. Inflation excluding food and energy was stable at 2.1 % in March 2019

In March 2019, annual inflation increased in both Canada and the United States to 1.9 %, from 1.5 % in February, and in Japan (to 0.5 %, from 0.2 %). It was stable in the United Kingdom (at 1.8 % for the third consecutive month) and in Italy (at 1.0 %). Annual inflation decreased slightly in France (to 1.1 %, from 1.3 %) and Germany (to 1.3 %, from 1.5 %).

Annual inflation in the Euro area, as measured by the HICP, decreased to 1.4 % in March, compared with 1.5 % in February. Excluding food and energy, euro area inflation decreased to 0.8 % in March, compared with 1.0 % in February. Eurostat’s flash estimate for inflation was 1.7 % in April 2019, and inflation excluding food and energy, 1.2 %. 

Annual inflation in the G20 area increased to 3.5 % in March 2019 compared with 3.1 % in February. Among non-OECD G20 economies, annual inflation picked up in Argentina (to 54.7 %, from 51.3 %), China (to 2.3 %, from 1.5 %), Brazil (to 4.6 %, from 3.9 %), India (to 7.7 %, from 7.0 %), South Africa (to 4.5 %, from 4.1 %) and in the Russian Federation (to 5.3 %, from 5.2 %). On the other hand, annual inflation decreased slightly in Indonesia (to 2.5 %, from 2.6 %) while in Saudi Arabia prices continued to fall albeit at a slower pace (minus 2.1 % compared to minus 2.2 %).

Notes:  HICP (Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices) published by Eurostat.

             On July 11, 2017, the Argentinian Authorities started to publish a new national CPI (December 2016 = 100) covering the whole country. This officially reported CPI-series starts in December 2016, and has now been included in the G20 aggregate, from January 2018 onwards. The inclusion of the Argentinian CPI in the G-20 aggregate entailed a clear break in the series.

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