In a flash estimate of inflation for January, Eurostat reports that annual inflation in the euro zone “is expected to be 8.5% in January 2023, down from 9.2% in December.”
Energy prices remain a central component in the high rate of price increases, rising by an estimated 17.3% in January. The same number was 25.5% in December and 34.9% in November.
Inflation in food prices is estimated at 14.1%, though, unlike energy, food-price inflation is still rising—from 13.8% in December and 13.1% in November.
Eurostat’s inflation estimate is based on data from 18 of the 20 euro-zone member states (there are no numbers from Germany or Slovenia). At 21.6%, Latvia still has the highest inflation rate in the currency area. This rate is close to the 21.5% average for Latvia since August.
Estonia exhibits the second-highest inflation rate for January. Its 18.8% is an increase from 17.7% in December but a decline from 21.4% in November. In August, Estonian inflation topped 25%.
In third place, Lithuania is experiencing its first month below 20% inflation since May 2022. Their inflation rate has declined four months in a row, suggesting that Lithuania is on the downslope of the current inflation episode.
Four other countries in the euro zone still have inflation rates above 10%: Slovakia (14.9%), Croatia (12.5), Austria (11.5), and Italy (10.9). Of these four countries, only Italy shows signs of having passed the inflation peak. Their inflation rate was 12.3% in December and 12.6% in November.
Luxembourg and Spain share the lowest rates of the 18 reporting euro-zone countries (5.8%). They are followed by Malta (6.7%), Cyprus (6.8), and France (7.0).