In January 2015, as many as 23 EU countries, including Poland, registered year-to-year deflation. Its average rate (according to the harmonized HICP index) for eurozone countries was -0.6 percent and -0.5 for the EU as a whole. The last time we dealt with deflation at a similar level was July 2009, when it was a direct result of the financial and economic crisis. According to Eurostat, deflation was highest in Greece (-2.8 percent) and Bulgaria (-2.3 percent). Inflation was recorded only in Austria, Romania, Sweden, Great Britain and Malta.
This situation was caused by falling energy prices, which decreased by 9.3 percent between January 2014 and January 2015. Its main negative component turned out to be fuel prices, the impact of which on inflation was estimated at -0.77 percentage points, with a year -to-year price decrease of 15.8 percent.
At the same time an intensification of inflation processes was noticeable this January. This is undoubtedly a reflection of a significant drop in crude oil prices on global markets at the beginning of this and the end of last year. Recent growth correction means that deflation pressure should ease. However, due to the fact that the biggest oil price drops started last June, a significant restriction of the scope of year-to-year deflation may take place as late as the second half of the year.
Jacek Brzozowski, adviser to the President of Employers of Poland