Falling energy prices kept euro zone annual inflation in negative territory in August. Transport fuels and heating oil had the biggest impact on the year-on-year figures just confirmed by the European Union statistics office.
Energy prices fell just over 10 percent in August while core inflation, which excludes energy and food costs, rose 1.2 percent in annual terms. Consumer prices in the 16 countries using the euro dipped 0.2 percent compared with August last year and were up 0.3 percent from July. In July, prices dropped by a record 0.7 percent. The latest data strengthened the case for the European Central Bank policymakers to keep interest rates unchanged at record lows despite the first signs of an economic recovery in the region. Analysts believe that consumer prices may well turn positive – year-on-year – very soon.