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Eurozone inflation stays negative as oil price fall holds sway

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The fall in oil prices kept Eurozone inflation in negative territory last month. Consumer prices in the single currency area fell 0.3% in the year to February, according to Eurostat – marginally better than the January figure of 0.6%. 'Energy remains the driver of headline inflation for now,' commented Dirk Schumacher, an economist at Goldman Sachs, adding that if oil prices remained where they were, headline inflation should be back to about zero by the middle of this year. The core measure of inflation, which strips out more volatile prices in the headline reading such as those for food and energy, was still 0.6%, indicating that weak demand within the region continued to weigh on price pressures. Eurostat also reported yesterday that unemployment across the region fell to 11.2% in January from a revised rate of 11.3% in December.

 

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