Christmas holiday spending nudged up prices in the eurozone in December.
The cost of living in the 17 countries sharing the euro had been forecast to fall slightly, but instead it rose more than expected and was up 2.2 percent from a year earlier, the same as in November.
However inflation remains benign enough to allow the European Central Bank to cut interest rates this year, to support the region’s feeble economy.
The price increases were most marked in food and services, which together make up 60 percent of Eurostat’s index, despite a cooling in the rate of energy price rises.
Food and services inflation suggests households spent a little more freely during the holiday season after months of holding back as families and businesses struggle through Europe’s worst economic and banking crisis in a generation.
In Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, separate data showed consumer prices in six states climbing much more than expected in December. Germany’s private sector expanded for the first time in eight months in December.
“Travel, hotel and restaurant prices have picked up and this year the rise was a little sharper than on average in past years,” said Ulrike Rondorf, an economist at Commerzbank.
European companies and policymakers alike are anxious for any signs of a recovery in the eurozone’s economy, which is expected to contract in 2013 while the rest of the world’s big economies grow.
- 1Former Greek finance minister confirms there was a secret ‘Grexit’ plan
- 2Golden shot: China shocks the commodities market with reserves revelation
- 3Oil price stability on the horizon as companies cut jobs and costs
- 4Chinese stock meltdown and Windows 10 debut
- 5Microsoft says Windows 10 is a “new era” in personal computing
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Russia unveils ‘straight’ flag, internet responds
- 3Seven reasons why Yanis Varoufakis is now a political legend
- 4Greek crisis: ‘Agreement reached’ after marathon talks
- 5International news | euronews, latest international news
- 6Nasa announces the discovery of an earth-like planet
- 7Is Saudi Arabia outlawing rainbows for being gay?
- 8Pluto: New Horizons space probe provides closest-ever pictures
- 9International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 10French actor Gérard Depardieu ‘a threat to Ukraine national security’
- 11BREAKING: Formal nuclear deal reached with Iran, says diplomat
- 12Greece votes ‘No’ in overwhelming rejection of bailout proposals
- 13Latest News Bulletin
- 14Berlusconi linked with a shock return to government – in Russia!
- 15At least 10 dead in explosion in Turkish town close to border with Syria
- 16Greece clinches deal with eurogroup after marathon talks
- 17‘Imposed’ bailout deal must be implemented, says Greek PM
- 18Israel angry as Iran and West talk up nuclear deal
- 19Varoufakis resigns after Greek referendum
- 20European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
latest economy news
Greek banking stocks fall again on second day of trading in Athens
Car sales hit by downturn in China
French bank Credit Agricole sees shares plummet in Paris trading
Government sells stake in Royal Bank of Scotland at discount price
Puerto Rica in default after missing debt payment
Wires > Business
- 23:19 CET Apple’s momentum ‘meltdown’ bites investors
- 22:44 CET Brazil bank unions say HSBC and Bradesco promise no mass layoffs
- 22:09 CET Drugmaker Shire bids $30 billion for Baxter spin-off Baxalta
- 20:45 CET Air France withdraws latest ‘Transform 2015’ pilot proposals
- 20:34 CET Vimpelcom, Hutchison close to striking Italian mobile deal -…
- 19:08 CET Britain’s fraud prosecutor poised to file more Libor charges
- 18:27 CET South Africa orders Glencore to shut coal mine over job cuts
- 17:52 CET Greek market recovers some poise, but banks hammered again