Consumer prices were unrevised in the final data for December to leave a 0.6 percent monthly rise and a 1.7 percent annual inflation rate, down just a tick from November's final mark. For the calendar year, prices were up an average 1.8 percent from their level in 2016.
The flash HICP was also unrevised, leaving a 0.8 percent monthly gain and a 1.6 percent yearly rate, down from November's final 1.8 percent.
December's monthly CPI gain reflected seasonal hikes in prices for package holidays (20.1 percent) and air tickets (4.7 percent). Rail fares (2.1 percent) similarly saw their usual annual adjustment and food (0.8 percent) was also more expensive. However, there was some discounting in clothing (minus 2.0 percent) and shoes (minus 1.2 percent). Overall goods prices were flat while services jumped 1.2 percent.
Excluding household energy, the CPI increased 0.6 percent versus November for a 1.6 percent yearly rate, a tick short of its print last time. Without food and energy prices were also up 0.6 percent for a 1.5 percent annual rate, matching their November outturn.
The final December report means that both headline and core CPI inflation were essentially flat during 2017. The lack of any significant acceleration in the underlying rate is surprising given the increasing tightness of the labour market. However, if successful, last week's strikes over pay and hours by the powerful IG Metall union could presage a general pick-up in pay that would boost inflation in 2018. The ECB would not be unhappy if this were the case.