Euro zone consumer prices fell again in August.
Prices in the 16 countries using the euro fell 0.2 percent this month, according to the latest estimate by the European Union statistics office Eurostat. And a monthly consumer survey by the European Commission has shown that households expect prices to keep falling. April was the last month when euro zone inflation went up. August’s 0.2 percent decline on the same month last year follows a 0.7 percent drop in July and a 0.1 percent easing in June. Prices were unchanged in May. A detailed breakdown of the data will be available in mid September but the fall in prices is probably mainly due to cheaper oil. Crude now costs roughly half what it did in August last year. The August figures – coupled with falling inflation expectations – make it likely the European Central Bank will keep interest rates unchanged at a record low one percent despite signs of an economic recovery. The bank’s policymakers meet on Thursday.