European Union annual inflation was 3.1% in March 2011, up from 2.9% in February. A year earlier the rate was 2.0%. Monthly inflation was 1.1% in March 2011.
In March 2011, the lowest annual rates were observed in Ireland (1.2%), Sweden (1.4%) and the Czech Republic (1.9%), and the highest in Romania (8.0%), Estonia (5.1%), Bulgaria and Hungary (both 4.6%). Compared with February 2011, annual inflation rose in eighteen Member States, remained stable in five and fell in four.
The lowest 12-month averages4 up to March 2011 were registered in Ireland (-0.8%), Latvia (0.7%) and the Netherlands (1.3%), and the highest in Romania (6.8%), Greece (5.0%) and Hungary (4.3%).
For the Euro Area, the main components with the highest annual rates in March 2011 were transport (5.6%), housing (5.1%) and alcohol & tobacco (3.6%), while the lowest annual rates were observed for communications (-0.6%), recreation & culture (-0.3%) and household equipment (0.9%). Concerning the detailed sub-indices, fuels for transport (+0.60 percentage points), heating oil (+0.24), electricity and gas (+0.10 each) had the largest upward impacts on the headline rate, while telecommunications (-0.11), rents and cars (-0.09 each) had the biggest downward impacts.
The main components with the highest monthly rates were clothing (15.1%), transport (1.3%), housing and household equipment (both 0.6%), while the lowest were communications and recreation & culture (both -0.2%), health and education (both 0.1%). In particular, garments (+0.67 percentage points), footwear (+0.15) and fuels for transport (+0.13) had the largest upward impacts, while restaurants & cafés (-0.09), rents (-0.08) and cars (-0.06) had the biggest downward impacts.