Inflation is on the decline in the Covid 19 pandemic. The rate of inflation in the European Union fell to only 0.7 percent in April 2020. That was 1.2 percentage points less than in April 2019, according to the statistics agency Eurostat. In April, the first full month since government protection measures were imposed, inflation in the euro area was only 0.3 percent. The trend has continued since the beginning of the year. In January 2020, the inflation rate in the European Union was still 1.7 percent. In March the value dropped to 1.2 percent.
Inflation is falling in Europe
The main reason for the falling inflation rate is the drop in the price of mineral oil. Consumers in the euro area recently paid almost a tenth (minus 9.7 percent) less for energy than in April 2019. Without energy, the rate of inflation would have been 1.4 instead of 0.3 percent, as reported by Eurostat. However, not all European citizens benefit equally from lower prices. 11 of the 27 EU member states were above the average. Germany was one of them. At the top of this list, inflation was almost five times higher than the EU average.
So far, these countries have had the highest inflation rates in the EU during the Corona crisis.
# 11 Germany
Eurostat put the inflation rate for Germany at 0.8 percent in April. This made the Federal Republic the first country to exceed the EU average of 0.7 percent. The Federal Statistical Office spoke of 0.9 percent. France was in twelfth place with 0.4 percent, followed by Italy (0.1 percent) and Belgium (0.0 percent). Portugal was the first country with a negative inflation rate (minus 0.1 percent)
# 10 Lithuania
The inflation rate in Lithuania was 0.9 percent in April. This put the country just above the EU average.
# 9 Netherlands
The consumer price index for all goods and services that households buy for consumption increased by 1.0 percent in the Netherlands. This was the ninth highest increase in the EU in April. A year earlier, the inflation rate in our neighboring country was 3.0 percent.
# 8 Malta
Malta had an inflation rate of 1.1 percent. That was around 50 percent more than the EU-wide average.
# 7 Bulgaria
Bulgaria ranked seventh in the EU inflation ranking in April. On average, consumers had to spend 1.3 percent more on consumption than in April 2019.
# 6 Austria
The inflation rate in Austria in April 2020 was twice as high as in the EU as a whole. Our neighbors’ goods and services rose by 1.5 percent. But that was around a third less than at the beginning of the year.
# 5 Slovakia
Eastern Europe is particularly affected by a higher inflation rate. In April it was 2.1 percent in Slovakia – three times as high as in the entire Union.
# 4 Romania
Romania had an inflation rate of 2.3 percent in April. It was the fourth highest in the EU. However, Romania continued the downward trend. In April 2019, inflation was still 4.4 percent above the previous month.
# 3 Hungary
Hungary ranks third among the EU member states with the highest inflation. Inflation was 2.5 percent in April. In January the rate had been 4.7 percent.
# 2 Poland
Poland recently had the second highest inflation rate in the EU. At 2.9 percent, however, it was a quarter lower than in March.
# 1 Czech Republic
In no EU country was the inflation rate higher in April than in the Czech Republic. Eurostat found a value of 3.3 percent. That was eleven times the average for the euro countries. But the trend is also downwards in the Czech Republic. Inflation has fallen steadily since the 3.8 percent high in January. The lowest inflation figure in the EU in Slovenia was in April at minus 1.3 percent.