Eurozone inflation edges higher but still negative in May

Brussels, May 31 (IANS) The 19-country eurozone’s inflation rate is expected to be minus 0.1 percent in May 2016, up from minus 0.2 percent in April, Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, estimated on Tuesday.

Among the main components of the inflation data, the services sector is expected to have the highest inflation rate of one percent in May, followed by food, alcohol and tobacco at 0.8 percent, non-energy industrial goods at 0.5 percent, and energy at minus 8.1 percent, respectively.

Analysts say the inflation rate in May is likely to prompt further monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank (ECB) at its next policy meeting on Thursday, Xinhua reported.

Europe has been troubled with deflationary pressure, and the ECB has launched a series of stimulus packages since mid-2014 in order to achieve its inflation target of “below, but close to two percent”.

Recent efforts to prop up the fragile recovery included cutting the main interest rate to zero and expanding a bond-buying programme.

In a separate report, Eurostat said the jobless rate in the eurozone held at 10.2 percent in April, the lowest since August 2011.



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