Eurozone inflation increased in September, exceeding the central bank’s ceiling, on food and energy prices, while core price growth eased unexpectedly, official data showed Friday.
Inflation rose marginally to 2.1 percent, in line with expectations, from 2 percent in August, Eurostat reported. A similar 2.1 percent was logged in July. Final data is due on October 17.
The European Central Bank targets “below, but close to 2 percent” inflation.
Core inflation that excludes food, alcohol and tobacco, slowed unexpectedly to 0.9 percent from 1 percent in August. The core rate was expected to edge up to 1.1 percent.
The further decline in core inflation in September was a little disappointing and, against a backdrop of slower economic growth, will ensure that the ECB remains very cautious in its approach to normalizing policy, Jessica Hinds, an economist at Capital Economics, said.
Peter Vanden Houte, an ING economist, still believes the ECB will try to get rid of the negative interest rates by the end of 2019. But with the current core inflation figures, it is unlikely that the central bank is going to speed up its exit strategy.
Earlier this week, ECB President Mario Draghi warned that the underlying inflation in the euro area is likely to see a relatively vigorous pick-up in underlying inflation.
Among the big-four economies, Germany’s EU harmonized inflation increased to 2.2 percent in September from 1.9 percent.
Spain’s inflation remained stable at 2.2 percent and Italy’s inflation held steady at 1.6 percent in September. Meanwhile, France’s rate eased slightly to 2.5 percent from 2.6 percent.
Food, alcohol and tobacco prices in the euro area advanced 2.7 percent in September, following a 2.4 percent rise in August. Likewise, the increase in energy cost increased to 9.5 percent from 9.2 percent.
Non-energy industrial goods prices logged a steady growth of 0.4 percent. Similarly, services cost gained 1.3 percent, the same rate as seen in August.