Inflation in OECD countries fell to 7.7% in March

Inflation in OECD countries fell to 7.7% in March

The annual inflation rate was 7.7 percent in March in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, down from 8.8 percent in February, the international grouping said on Thursday.

The decline resulted from easing energy prices in OECD countries. Energy inflation in March was 1.3 percent, compared to 11.9 percent in February, according to the announcement reported by Anadolu Agency.

The highest level of annual inflation was 10.7 percent in October 2022, the organization reminded. Annual inflation decreased in March in 34 out of 38 OECD countries.

Japan, Spain, Luxembourg, and Switzerland reported inflation rates of less than four percent, the lowest ever recorded, while Hungary and Turkey reported inflation rates of over 20 percent.

On the Group of Seven sides, annual inflation slowed to 5.4 percent in March from 6.4 percent in February.

Annual inflation in the Eurozone fell to 6.9 percent from 8.5 percent, while in the Group of 20, it fell to 6.9 from eight percent in the same period.

Reactions on the securities and crude oil markets

After the US Fed’s latest decision to raise interest rates by 0.25 points, the stock market seemed to dismiss the possibility that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell could have another rate hike up his sleeve. In addition, further declines in crude oil prices indicated growing concerns about a US recession.

Texas WTI crude oil dropped to a low of $68.5 per barrel, raising worries about decreasing economic expansion in big economies.

Powell, however, hinted that an increase in interest rates above five percent could be the last in the current cycle.

The Fed chief indicated that a 25-point rate increase was widely favored this week but commented that the current economic situation might lead to a suspension of further rate hikes when June comes around. Powell also acknowledged that the pace of bank lending has slowed.