Eurozone inflation slips back below zero

The prices of goods and services in the eurozone fell by 0.2 per cent year-on-year in February, pushing inflation back into negative territory, according to an estimate released Monday by the EU statistics agency Eurostat.

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.

Analysts had expected prices to rise by 0.1 per cent.

If confirmed, it will be the first time the data has slipped back into negative territory after the European Central Bank (ECB) ramped up its efforts in December to stave off a prolonged period of deflation.

ECB chief Mario Draghi has indicated that the Frankfurt-based bank could take further action in March. Its goal is to keep inflation just below 2 per cent.

February's inflation data was dragged down by falling energy prices, which contracted 8 per cent year-on-year, compared to 5.4 per cent in January.

The biggest year-on-year increases were seen in services, followed by food, alcohol and tobacco prices and non-energy industrial goods, according to the preliminary data.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49
Author: 

More from Europe

Could May's Brexit vision make Britain the Singapore of Europe?

Prime Minister Theresa May has pleased right-wingers in her Conservative Party and the anti-EU UK Independence Party...

New EU Parliament President Tajani aims to unite, despite criticism

Italian Antonio Tajani won the presidency of the European Parliament on Tuesday after offering support to colleagues...

European Parliament elects Antonio Tajani as its next president

The European Parliament elected centre-right Antonio Tajani of Italy as its next president over fellow Italian...

Report: US and EU make "considerable progress" on TTIP negotiations

The European Union and the United States have made "considerable progress" in negotiating the Transatlantic Trade...

Mediterranean death toll exceeds 200 since January 1, IOM says

At least 219 people have died trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean in the first weeks of 2017, the...