Inflation in OECD countries (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) hit a 30-year high of 6.6% in December. As noted, while in Greece it is well below the average of 5.1%, but well above average in terms of rising fuel prices.
Meanwhile, the latest Eurostat data for February 2 this year, concerning the harmonized index of consumer prices (Spain Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) y/y), causes concern among experts. In January, the indicator reached 5.5%, i.е. 1.1 points higher than the previous month. Which leaves open the possibility that the statistical national index will exceed 6% in January.
Finance Minister Christos Staikouras yesterday also drew colleagues’ attention to the topical issue, saying that while available data continue to indicate that the price increase will be temporary, “this estimate is subject to a high degree of uncertainty.”
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde acknowledged at her long-awaited press conference yesterday at noon that inflation in January exceeded forecast levels and there is a risk that this is not the limit, especially in the short term. Inflation reached 6.6%, mainly due to a jump in energy prices.
OECD data confirms that energy prices rose by 32.6% compared to an average of 25.6% in OECD countries and 25.9% in the euro area. A higher increase in energy consumption than in Greece was observed in Belgium (42%), Estonia (55.6%), Lithuania (36.7%), the Netherlands (53.7%), Norway (73%), Spain ( 40.2%), Sweden (39.3%) and Turkey (48.8%).
Greek food prices rose 4.3% in December, below the OECD average of 6.8% but above the Eurozone average of 3.5% and slightly above the European Union average of 4 .3%).
Thus, according to the OECD, the contribution of energy to the December index was 3.5 points, food 1 point and all other goods 0.6 points. Therefore, almost 70% of inflation is accounted for by energy prices.
The OECD record, the highest inflation rate since July 1991, was heavily influenced by Turkey, which had an inflation rate of 36.1%. Without it, the average for member countries was 5.6%. On an annualized basis, OECD inflation was 4% in 2021, with fuel prices rising 15.4%, the highest level since 1981.