Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Eurozone inflation is steady for third month

Inflation in the eurozone remained steady for the third straight month in July, offering little hope to consumers at a time when the number of people out of work continues to climb and unemployment hit a record high.

Consumer prices in the 17 nations sharing the euro rose 2.4% in July on an annual basis, the EU's statistics office Eurostat said, maintaining a level first touched in May as Brent crude oil fell sharply and brought prices down.

The bloc's jobless rate, in a separate report, hit 11.2%.

Inflation is seen coming into line with the European Central Bank's target of just below 2% by the end of the year and ECB President Mario Draghi said in early July the rate is slowing faster than forecast.

The lack of pressure on prices has given the ECB some room to move. The bank cut its interest rate 0.25 point to a record low of 0.75% and its deposit rate to zero in July.