Consumer prices across the euro zone (17 countries) rose 2.6% annually in September—unchanged from the previous month. Annual inflation in the European Union (27 countries) was up 2.7%, also stable and unchanged from August. Both rates are lower than they were a year ago, which should cheer European consumers.
For September, the lowest annual rates were in Greece, Sweden and Latvia, while the highest rates were in Hungary, Romania, and Estonia. Consumers were hit by rises in transport, housing, alcohol & tobacco, while prices on communications, rents and cars declined. Energy prices continued to rise, but the biggest surprise was in clothing with prices increasing 14%, perhaps in anticipation of the chilly winter to come.