Eurozone Inflation At 31-Month High
MADRID (dpa-AFX) - Eurozone inflation accelerated to a 31-month high in November on food prices, flash data from Eurostat showed Wednesday.
Inflation rose to 0.6 percent in November, in line with expectations, from 0.5 percent in October. This was the highest since April 2014, when inflation was 0.7 percent.
Nonetheless, headline inflation has been below the European Central Bank's target of 'below, but close to 2 percent' since early 2013.
Overall inflation trend is upward, but it might take until 2019 before the ECB's target is actually reached, Peter Vanden Houte, an ING economist noted.
Core inflation that excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, held steady at 0.8 percent in November. Final data is due on December 16.
IHS Global Insight Economist Howard Archer said, the muted November core inflation data highlights that the ECB cannot relax on the inflation front yet, even if the headline rate looks primed to rise appreciably over the next few months.
The bank is widely expected to extend its asset purchase program by six months at its December 8 meeting.
The ECB has more work to do to return Eurozone inflation to target on a sustained basis, Jack Allen, a European economist at Capital Economics, said.
ECB President Mario Draghi early this week said inflation has gradually edged up, and the bank's monetary stimulus has been a key ingredient of the ongoing recovery.
Eurostat data showed that food inflation accelerated to 0.7 percent from 0.4 percent. On the other hand, energy prices declined at a faster pace of 1.1 percent. Non-energy industrial goods prices and services cost climbed 0.3 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.
Among major economies, Germany's inflation remained unchanged at 0.8 percent, the highest level in two years.
French inflation increased to 0.5 percent in November, on higher energy and food prices, from 0.4 percent in prior month.
Elsewhere, Italy's inflation turned positive after falling a month ago. Inflation came in at 0.1 percent in November versus -0.2 percent in October. At the same time, Spain's inflation held steady at 0.7 percent in November.
Data published by Germany's Federal Labor Agency today showed that the jobless rate remained unchanged at the lowest since the German reunification in 1990. The rate came in at a seasonally adjusted 6 percent in November,
The number of people out of work decreased by 5,000 in November from prior month, in line with expectations.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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