World Economy

Eurozone Inflation 0.4% Higher

Eurozone Inflation 0.4% HigherEurozone Inflation 0.4% Higher

Inflation appears to be picking up across the 19-country eurozone despite super-low oil prices, Reuters reported. Official figures released Friday by Eurostat show consumer prices were 0.4% higher in January than the year before, double December’s rate. January’s rate was the highest since October 2014, when it was also 0.4%, a development that may provide comfort to policymakers at the European Central Bank. The ECB is in the midst of a massive bond-buying program which is designed to get Eurozone inflation back toward its target of just below 2%. Perhaps more encouragingly for ECB rate-setters is that the core rate rose to 1% from 0.9%. The increase in the core rate, which strips out volatile items like energy and food, suggests underlying price pressures are building. Economists are expecting the ECB to press the button on further stimulus as soon as March following a dovish meeting of the central bank last week, at which ECB President Mario Draghi warned that inflation in the eurozone is likely to remain low for quite some time, amid slumping oil prices and falling prices of food and other products.