Eurozone Annual Consumer Inflation Eased to 1.9% Last Month
The annual rate of inflation in the Eurozone eased more sharply than first estimated in November. Eurostat reported that Eurozone consumer prices were 1.9% higher in November than a year earlier, a sharper drop in the annual rate of inflation from 2.2% in October than previously estimated. The ECB wants to keep headline inflation below, but close to 2% over the medium term.
Meanwhile, core inflation, which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco prices, rose by an annual rate of 1.0%, unchanged from the preliminary estimate and in line with forecasts.
The slowdown in inflation was partly due to a stabilization of energy prices during November, but it also reflected month-to-month declines in services prices.
Separately, Eurostat said the Eurozone's trade surplus with the rest of the world was 1.4 billion euros in October, down from 17.8 billion a year earlier as exports jumped 11.4% year-on-year in October while imports surged 14.8%.
Last week, the ECB left interest rates on hold and confirmed plans to wind up its massive bond purchasing stimulus program. Today’s inflation data increased skepticism that the European Central Bank will be able to move ahead with an interest rate hike in 2019.