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SOURCE The Conference Board
NEW YORK, Feb. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Inflation, as measured by the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), rose in December for seven of the 16 advanced economies included in The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons program. Of the remainder, four economies saw inflation rates fall in December and five were unchanged.
"At the end of 2013, inflation in half the countries and areas compared dipped to 1.0 percent or lower, reflecting the large economic slack remaining across various economies," said Elizabeth Crofoot, Senior Economist with the International Labor Comparisons program at The Conference Board. "Despite greater optimism for economic growth in Europe heading into 2014, inflation in the Euro Area edged down again in December. In the rest of Europe, Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland also continue to flirt with deflationary risk."
In the United States, year-on-year HICP inflation stood at 1.2 percent in December 2013, up 0.3 percentage points from November. Meanwhile, Japanese inflation held steady at 1.9 percent, after eight straight months of acceleration. Inflation was also unchanged in the European Union overall-and down very slightly within the smaller Euro Area-but this masks significant divergences. Inflation rose, for instance, from 1.5 to 2.0 percent in Austria, from 0.9 to 1.2 percent in Belgium, and from 1.2 to 1.4 percent in the Netherlands. However, these increases were more than offset by Germany; in the bloc's largest economy, annual inflation fell from 1.6 percent in November to 1.2 percent in December. Only (non-E.U.) Norway saw a sharper decline among countries compared.
As of December 2013, the last month for which global data is available, HICP inflation exceeds 1.5 percent in just four of the 16 economies: Austria (2.0 percent), the United Kingdom (2.0 percent), Japan (1.9 percent), and Norway (1.8 percent).
About HICP and International Labor Comparisons (ILC)
Harmonized Indexes of Consumer Prices are measures of consumer price inflation that have been standardized across multiple countries based on European Union definitions. A monthly report compiles HICP trends for 16 economies, alongside conventional Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) as measured by national governments. The Conference Board adjusts official HICP and CPI metrics to a common base year to facilitate comparison with the United States.
The data is published as part of The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons program. Formerly a division of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ILC is dedicated to producing economic indicators that optimize research, comparison, and planning in a global context.
For more information about The Conference Board ILC program:
About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is an independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org.
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