The final December CPI showed no changes to the provisional data. A 0.3 percent monthly increase in prices saw the annual inflation rate edge a tick firmer to 0.6 percent, its highest reading since May 2014.
The final HICP similarly matched its flash print, also rising 0.3 percent versus November for a 0.8 percent yearly rate that was 0.1 percentage points higher than in mid-quarter.
The headline acceleration is good news but it flatters to deceive. Hence, seasonally adjusted, the CPI was only 0.1 percent firmer than in November and the core index, which excludes public sector prices, the most volatile categories and taxes, actually fell 0.1 percent as services held steady while manufacturing posted a 0.3 percent decline.
In other words, underlying trends remain soft. A pick-up in economic growth last quarter may help to provide a slight lift going forward but it will need to be sustained if inflation is to get anywhere close 2 percent in the foreseeable future.