ekonomska kriza - novac.jpg
Photograph: Freeimages.com/sanja gjenero

The prices of goods and services in the eurozone rose by only 0.3 per cent year-on-year in January, the EU statistics agency Eurostat said Thursday, revising a previous estimate downward.

Fears of deflation have dogged the 19-country European currency bloc, which has also been struggling to rev up its economy after emerging from recession more than two years ago. The European Central Bank (ECB) usually aims to have inflation at just under 2 per cent.

Economists fear deflation, as it can lead to reduced consumer spending amid expectations that prices will drop further, cutting into companies' profits and prompting them to cut their workforce, thus increasing unemployment.

Eurostat had initially estimated that the rate reached 0.4 per cent in January. Analysts had also expected that figure.

The 0.3-per-cent increase follows a rise of 0.2 per cent in December, when the ECB ramped up its efforts to head off a prolonged period of deflation. Many analysts believe that the bank will launch another set of monetary measures when it meets on March 10.

Energy prices continued to be a drag on inflation in January, falling by 5.4 per cent year-on-year. Prices rose, on the other hand, for services, food, alcohol and tobacco, as well as non-energy industrial goods, Eurostat said.

In the wider, 28-country European Union, inflation reached 0.2 per cent year-on-year in January.

Related stories

Eurozone inflation rises to 0.4 per cent in January

Eurozone inflation slips back below zero

Eurozone inflation remains at 0.2 per cent in December

Latest news

New Romanian justice minister named after anti-corruption protests

Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu has named a former judge to be the country's next justice minister, after the previous office holder resigned under pressure from mass anti-corruption protests.

Le Pen's chief of staff indicted in European Parliament jobs probe

The chief of staff of Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate for president in upcoming French elections, was indicted Wednesday over allegations of irregular reimbursements from the European Parliament, a judicial source told dpa.

Montenegrin police extradites Miodrag Jovic to Croatia

Montenegrin police reported on Wednesday that they extradited to Croatia Miodrag Jovic (48) from Glina, after whom Interpol Zagreb issued an arrest warrant.

Croatian minister attends CoMoCoSEE conference in Albania

Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek participated in a third conference of the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-Eastern Europe (CoMoCoSEE) that took place in Tirana on February 21-22.

New Somali president asks al-Shabaab to surrender to 'help' country

Somalia's newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo asked Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab to surrender in order "to help rebuild" the conflict-ridden East African nation.

Serbia's EU negotiator says minority rights neglected

The head of the Serbia's European Union accession negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic, said in Novi Sad on Wednesday that minority rights had been neglected for many years and added that positive results in that regard cannot be achieved over night, the Beta news agency has reported. 

Scientists: Nearby star's 7 rocky planets are "best bet" for life

New analysis of telescope data shows a dwarf star just 40 light years from Earth has at least seven apparently rocky planets with potential to harbour water, an international team of scientists announced Wednesday.

Croatian PM receives EIB Vice-President

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Dario Scannapieco for talks on the bank's contribution to a new investment cycle in Croatia and its support to the Croatian government to implement key projects, a press release from the government's office said.

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Denmark to charge man with blasphemy over burning Koran

Danish prosecutors said Wednesday they have opened a rare blasphemy case against a man who videotaped himself burning a copy of the Koran.

South Africa to raise taxes for the wealthiest

South Africa will raise the income tax rate for the country's wealthiest to 45 per cent from 41 per cent, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced Wednesday.

Reformist Macron wins support of key centrist leader for French vote

France's reformist presidential hopeful, Emmanuel Macron, got a boost on Wednesday when he picked up the support of a party leader whose centrist constituency played a pivotal role in the last two presidential elections.